Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3337 ..
strategy are adequately funded so that they can make real change for this group of people.
Looking briefly at seniors, there are some measures in the budget which we very much support, including additional places in the hospital in the home program. This is not just for seniors, of course, but I believe that seniors will be disproportionately represented in the patients cared for under this program.
I am very pleased to see the continued rollout of the age-friendly suburbs program, in Page and Hughes. I point out that an age-friendly suburb is a suburb which will be friendly for people of all ages, not just senior citizens. Also, there is now to be a seniors rights service, to address the concerning rates of elder abuse in our community. I think that is particularly good. I am also pleased that the government has responded to calls by me and others to expand the general rates aged deferral scheme.
In conclusion, recommendation 37 of the estimates committee report states:
The committee recommends the ACT Government continue to focus on delivering the services for a growing city.
(Second speaking period taken.) As a Greens member of the Assembly, I believe it is imperative that these services should cater not just for the mainstream members of our community, not just for the affluent members of our community but for those people who, for many and varied reasons, are struggling, possibly on a long-term basis or possibly on a short-term basis, to gain access to vital community services. Vital services such as housing, transport, health, education, broader community supports and basic social inclusion need to be accessible and affordable for everybody in our community. It is vital that the government continue to consider the needs of vulnerable Canberrans and to support the community services and organisations who are expert in identifying these issues and responding to them.
We want Canberra to be a place that works for all of the community and is a safe, loving, compassionate and inclusive community. This is the directorate which, more than others, should be focusing on that. I support the continuing expenditure and would love to see it do better in the future.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.53): The budget that we are talking about today is underwhelming in a number of areas. I would like to begin with safer families. When the government introduced the safer families levy two years ago, the Canberrans I know were all more than happy to contribute to making our city safer by better responding to and preventing domestic violence. Two years on, many of these residents are wondering where exactly this money is going and, more importantly, whether things are genuinely getting better.
I note the small funding increases provided in this year’s budget to two important front-line service providers. But, as was reported in April this year, demand on the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, for example, has tripled over the past 10 years. Financial support, however, has not tripled over the same period. As I raised during estimates hearings, I have heard from Canberrans who still cannot get through to