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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1956 ..


Madam Speaker presented the following paper:

Auditor-General Act, pursuant to subsection 17(4)—No 6/2021—Teaching Quality in

ACT Public Schools, dated 22 June 2021.

Carers Recognition Bill 2021

Ms Orr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (2.57): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS ORR: I rise to introduce the Carers Recognition Bill 2021, along with its explanatory statement. The bill will recognise, promote and value the role carers have within our community. The bill will put in place measures requiring certain entities and organisations to consider and adapt business practices to support the care relationship that exists between carers and the people they care for. The bill establishes a set of principles relating to supporting people in care relationships. The bill also places obligations on care and carer support agencies to uphold and report on compliance with the carer relationship principles.

Carers are some of the most selfless people in our community who work very hard supporting those within our community who need care. The work of carers is generally unrecognised and carers themselves often do not receive the support that they need to carry out their caring responsibilities or to look after themselves. Better recognition of carers and their needs will improve support to carers, which will in turn improve the health and wellbeing of carers as a group in our community.

This bill is not intended to create a hierarchy between carers and those receiving care; it is about all people in the care relationship being seen, heard and respected. Where a dispute between a carer and a person receiving care occurs, the bill is not intended to be used as a means for reconciling that individual dispute by giving one person in the care relationship more say than the other.

A consultation draft of the Carers Recognition Bill 2021 was released in January 2021, and several individuals and organisations provided feedback on the consultation draft. In addition, two forums were held, one with Carers ACT and one with ACTCOSS, where feedback from all of their membership was provided. I thank everyone who provided feedback and worked collaboratively to make this bill the best it can be.

I will draw attention to some of the more significant clauses within the bill. Clause 6 defines the term “care relationship”. Importantly, the definition recognises the relationship that exists between a person providing care and a person receiving care. It is this relationship that is central to the bill. Clause 6 also defines who a carer is under the act.

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