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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 February 2015) . . Page.. 524 ..


We also know that the Liberals wanted to impose a $7 co-payment on our visits to our GPs. I do not know what is going to happen to that, but hopefully that will go where it should go, which is down. We hear of pension cuts and of $100,000 university degrees. These seem to be still on the table and still on the Liberal agenda.

On the eve of Christmas 2014, when most people were on holidays, two organisations that I have been involved in and that are providing invaluable services to the Canberra community—Canberra City Care and Karralika—were informed that their federal funding would be discontinued. These two organisations have for many years provided important services to vulnerable people in the ACT. Indeed, my history with Karralika goes back many years to when I was working as the director of the then Tuggeranong community service. We provided transport to people from Karralika to important medical appointments.

The Karralika family program provides, for example, integrated services for families impacted by alcohol and drug addiction to improve child, parent and family wellbeing, family functioning, social cohesion and connectedness to the community for long-term recovery and improved outcomes. It achieves this by working collaboratively with government and non-government agencies to break intergenerational cycles of addiction and disadvantage through an integrated approach.

As we all know, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use contribute to and reinforce the social disadvantage experienced by adults, children, families and communities in the ACT and surrounding New South Wales region. The Karralika family program is the only service in the ACT and southern New South Wales that has delivered this family program. For 30 years it has integrated comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment with early intervention and prevention to strengthen parenting, family relationships and childhood development to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Also important are the programs delivered by Canberra City Care. They have successfully provided support, food and clothing to Canberra families for over nine years through their partnership with the federal government’s emergency relief grant program. In my conversations with them I have been made aware that there was a noticeable increase in families seeking assistance from Canberra City Care in the second half of 2014.

It is estimated that there were 45,000 occasions when people were assisted by a meal being placed on their tables over the course of a year through their HandUp food care pantry. As the unfair federal Liberal government’s budget continues to bite, this number is expected to grow. The emergency relief funding has provided Canberra City Care with the opportunity to help families during these very challenging times.

There is a growing awareness in many developed countries, and indeed within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, that statistics such as gross domestic product do not give a clear picture of the experience of ordinary people. As the Secretary-General of the OECD stated:


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