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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1378 ..

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ACT Health—office for mental health

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health regarding the proposed restructure of ACT Health. Where will the office for mental health fit into the proposed restructure of ACT Health?

MR RATTENBURY: A final decision has not been made on that yet.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, will that uncertainty result in a delay in the commencement of the operation of the office for mental health?

MR RATTENBURY: Work on the office for mental health is proceeding apace. As I think I have updated the Assembly on, and forgive me if I have not, we have recently completed two rounds of public consultation and received extremely valuable feedback from members of the community. There are competing views, as you might anticipate. Some actually suggested that we take longer to establish it, because they wanted more time for discussion. Others have urged us to get on with it as fast as possible. We are trying to meet those various views. Obviously, they are not entirely compatible. The key principles of the office of mental health have been broadly agreed by the community, and I look forward to providing further updates to the Assembly shortly.

MS LAWDER: Minister, how will having staff dealing with mental health in several agencies streamline the delivery of mental health care?

MR RATTENBURY: One of the things I am keen to achieve through the office for mental health is the recognition that it is not just the health department that deals with issues of mental health. Right across the ACT government there are areas where mental health is very relevant. The Education Directorate, Community Services, and, as discussed earlier today, each of our emergency services areas has mental health and mental wellbeing issues for their staff and for their clients, their customers, that we need to deal with. I do not think this is just about the health agency. One of my key agendas is that mental health is about much more than just clinical services and that is what the office for mental health will be seeking to prosecute as part of its agenda.

Homelessness—government funding

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, why has real spending on homelessness services dropped from $25.3 million in 2012-13 to $20.7 million in 2016-17?

MS BERRY: It was the commonwealth government that made those cuts, not the ACT government.

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