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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2428 ..

Mrs Carnell: What song did they play at the end of the rally, Wayne?

MR BERRY: I do not know.

MS McRAE (8.38): I would like to address the area of community care within this line, and to bring - - -

Mrs Carnell: Was it not the Internationale that was played at the end of that meeting?

MR SPEAKER: That is out of order, too.

MS McRAE: If you had come, Mrs Carnell, you might have been able to listen, and maybe they would have been able to understand better exactly what you are doing.

Mr Speaker, in the Estimates Committee report the area of community grants was one that ended up without a recommendation specifically, but it is an area which it is fairly important for the Government to pay attention to. I think the Assembly should demand some extra information. Recommendation 15 reads:

The committee recommends that all agency annual reports provide complete and clearly identifiable information about outgoings in the form of community and other grants to non-Governmental bodies.

We also talked about the way that we had to seek extra information and the totally inadequate nature of the information that was given to the Estimates Committee. I would urge the Chief Minister to take this issue very seriously. Despite plausible assurances from the Chief Minister that she is acutely aware of the role of community care within the bigger umbrella of Health, and her quite obvious understanding of the community concern for the amalgamation of the two, particularly aged care and people with disabilities, we constantly hear about concerns from the community in regard to the allocation of funds to people with disabilities and to the aged care area.

We coupled that with that lack of clear information about community grants, the management of community grants, the total amount of community grant money available, and the diversity of grants available, in a clear and readily accessible form in the annual report, in particular, where it referred to grants and the page did not have any grants on it. I think it is of extreme importance for the Chief Minister to take this issue up very publicly, to explain to all the groups that are concerned about community care and community funding and to the Assembly, so that we can have a much better idea of just what is going into this area, what its objectives are, and how the outcomes are going to be assessed.

In the process of the Estimates Committee review and general discussion about community grants it has become clear that there is a level of review going on. But again, it seemed to us, both at the Estimates Committee and in general, that there is very little public knowledge of the nature of the review, the focus of the review, the intent of the review and what these achievable outcomes that I talked about are going to be.

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