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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1069 ..

to the SRS funding model. I do not know how much money that is, because it went to the Catholic Education Office, and how they allocate those funds is up to them.

MS LEE: I have a supplementary question. Minister, what work and modelling have you done to ensure that the local government schools have the capacity to take new students if St Bede’s were to close?

MS BERRY: Fortunately, the Catholic Education Office has given the school community some breathing space until 2023 before they decide on the future for that school. So it might be the case that the school community can change the decision making of the Catholic Education Office and that it will remain open. In the meantime, however, we will make sure that we pay special attention to the ACT government schools in that area to ensure that there is space for students should that be required. I have made a commitment to that school community that, if it is a decision by the Catholic Education Office to close that school, those students will be welcomed into their public schools.

Mental health—services

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, what is the ACT government doing to deliver on the ACT Greens election commitment to support people being able to access mental health services closer to home, particularly in my electorate of Brindabella?

MS DAVIDSON: Thank you for the question. There are a range of things that we are working on that will help people on the south side in particular. There is a step-up, step-down facility that will be new for south Canberra, which will be opening very soon. The step-up, step-down facility will provide people with a place where they can step up to more intensive mental health care without having to become an inpatient in the AMHU. This also gives people an opportunity to step down and transition back into community care after a period of time as an inpatient. I am looking forward to that facility opening soon.

We also committed in the February budget to increasing funding for the PACER service to seven days a week. There was an additional $720,000 to expand the Police, Ambulance and Clinician Emergency Response service. We have found that this has been a very effective way of providing people with access to care without having to be admitted to hospital or go to the emergency department.

We are also working on a co-design process to deliver safe haven cafes in Canberra, which will provide people with a warm and welcoming environment in which to seek help if they are experiencing distress without having to go to the usual acute care services like the emergency department.

The combination of all of these services will, hopefully, provide more options for people who are on the south side and provide options that are closer to where people live.

MR DAVIS: Minister, why has it taken so long to get the first safe haven cafe open?

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