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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 995 ..


I thank all of you for getting involved in this, and for speaking so passionately about an issue that is dear to my heart. I know that I am not alone here; many thousands of Canberrans equally share in this experience.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.34): I will speak to the amendment and close the debate. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions today. It is another example of a time when we all understand and acknowledge the importance of a particular issue and work together to get the best result for Canberrans. It does happen; it can happen. Perhaps it should happen more often than it actually does, but I am pleased that we have reached an agreement today. Hopefully, this will have a very positive outcome for us.

I reiterate that I feel that people living with dementia, their family and carers perhaps were not adequately recognised originally in the age-friendly plan when it was first created. I think that there are three dot points in the 19-page document that mention dementia.

We will be supporting Minister Davidson’s amendment today, mostly because we are able to find, in the plan, that it will be reported on annually to the Assembly. I was concerned to make sure that it was written down somewhere that there would be an annual report to the Assembly about progress, including on these dementia matters. It is not because I do not trust the government—or perhaps occasionally I do not trust the government. We have had instances of reports not being released as they should have been. That is why I was very keen to make sure that there was something written down that said there would be an annual report.

We have seen some great examples of how people with dementia can be looked after in our community and in special accommodation. I am pleased that we had tripartisan support for The Neighbourhood Canberra. The Canberra Liberals also committed to that during the election campaign. Hopefully, that project will come to fruition. In my electorate of Brindabella there is what is known as Aspire by LDK, which is another great example of a facility for people living with dementia.

There is other great work out there as well. There is a bank chain, if that is the right term, here in Canberra, that have had specific dementia training from Dementia Australia on how staff in the bank can recognise and assist people with dementia. Another great example in the ACT is the dementia choir. Many constituents and the carers of people living with dementia rave about how wonderful this is. For many people living with dementia—I do not mean to make light of this—they might not remember what they had for breakfast, but they can probably remember songs that they sang 50 years ago. It is a wonderful experience for them and for anyone else who is listening.

Mr Hanson mentioned the dementia cafe. There are some fantastic things going on in our community. After today, given that our focus on making sure that people living with dementia, their families and carers will be very much focused on in the age-friendly city plan, I hope that we will see even more awareness, better facilities and standards for people living with dementia here in the ACT. They need to know


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