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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3053 ..

MR STEFANIAK: They are rather pathetic. I rather enjoyed answering that one, Mr Speaker, because Ms McRae is just so way off the beam. If she or Mr Berry read that report and if they listened, it is quite obvious, Mr Speaker, that a large number of people have been involved in this. It is not a question of just me; it is a report which was put to me as Minister and the Government. You need to be aware of that fact, Ms McRae. It is not something that I dreamt up or that anyone in the Government dreamt up; it is an objective report. A lot of people have been consulted in relation to it. I have gone through that. You really should read the report a little bit more closely, especially the consultation bit.

Mr Kaine: Mr Berry is really not interested in your answer.

MR STEFANIAK: No, he is not.

Disability Services - Protective Material Purchases

MS TUCKER: My question is for Mrs Carnell as Minister for Health and Community Care. Mrs Carnell, on Wednesday of last week, in answer to my question on payment procedures for the purchase of materials necessary for infection prevention in group houses for people with a disability, you stated:

The provision of such things as gloves, detergent, disposable paper towels, plastic aprons for handling soiled linen and so on is also covered in our policy directions.

I have been through what you claimed was the policy in place before August, which was about 50 pages of mostly draft policies. I have also been through the more current draft policy and the practice instruction manuals. None of these documents explain the process by which the needs for the house are assessed and therefore what purchasing procedures are deemed appropriate. I have here a memo dated 8 August sent to regional managers from the Department of Community Care finance manager reprimanding staff for overuse of disinfectant purchased from the Mitchell central stores. It says:

As has always been the custom, unless the house has high usage needs disinfectant should be purchased as a food item and food money used to pay for this item.

Obviously, there are problems in understanding which houses are high needs and what are appropriate payment procedures. I ask you again: Firstly, which policy were you referring to last week when you stated that the directions were in policy regarding this matter? Secondly, what is the assessment process to determine the level of need of a house, and how is this assessment communicated to staff?

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