Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4122..
MR MULCAHY (continuing):
variety of jobs, including clearing blocked sewerage pipes, repairing lights, roof tiling, and repairing essential household items.
A lawn mowing service is provided by Handy Help to ensure houses are kept neat and tidy, an area that is proving more challenging, in particular, for older citizens. Home modifications are also provided to eligible homeowners who have physical problems related to daily living. These modifications could include the installation of mobility aids such as ramps, step railings, and bathroom modifications. The home care concept used by Handy Help is an alternative way to combat the growing challenge of aged care. In 2005 Handy Help assisted over 2,100 clients, an increase in over 300 from the previous year, with a total of almost 15,000 hours of service.
The organisation is facing increasing costs due to number of factors. Handy Help increasingly has had to rely on contractors because of volunteer reductions and stricter insurance rules that require qualified contractors to perform more jobs—a problem about which I am sure Ms Porter is well aware. Increasing costs are also associated with a general increase in contractor charges, as well as the substantial increase in clients. Despite these financial challenges and significant fluctuations in staff numbers during the year Handy Help has operated with minimal disruption to services.
Handy Help is looking to continue in the future to successfully provide services to an increasing number of clients through cost-saving methods such as the consolidation of resources. I take this opportunity to recognise and congratulate Handy Help staff for their hard work in providing essential home services to the residents of Canberra and, in particular, to frail, aged and younger people with disabilities. I am sure that its work is valued by the entire Canberra community and by members of the Assembly.
Motorcycle charity run
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.01): On Saturday my Assembly colleague Ms Porter and I were fortunate enough to participate in the 26th annual Motorcycle Riders Association toy run. Thirty years ago motorcycle clubs around the world decided to coordinate charity rides to gather toys and food just before Christmas. Today about 100,000 riders in Australia participate in these toy runs.
At Christmas time every year motorcyclists in Canberra collect donated toys and non-perishable food which are then distributed to needy families by the Smith Family and the Salvation Army to brighten the lives of those less fortunate in our community. It must be remembered that Christmas time is not a relaxing and enjoyable experience for every family. Families that struggled to make ends meet throughout the year suffer great anxiety around Christmas time as they are not able to afford presents for their children or even provide a special meal to share with family members.
The toy run is a great chance for people with a passion for bikes to put something back into the community, which demonstrates the true spirit of Christmas. These rides not only provide us with a chance to raise awareness of the struggle for some members of our community; they also give us a chance to highlight road safety. The Motorcycle Riders Association spends a lot of time and energy in drawing attention to road craft and road safety. On one Saturday every month it provides instructions to