Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3059 ..

MRS CARNELL: Mr Moore will be aware that funds are allocated from the disability services grants, the DSGs, the home and community care grants, that is the HACC budget, and the Department of Health and Community Care budget. All of those areas can be used to make up individual support packages. Each year the Commonwealth notifies the States and Territories of additional funding that is provided for disability services grants under the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement. Additional funding for HACC programs is also notified to the State or Territory on a yearly basis, as members would be aware. This funding is on a cost-shared basis with the States and Territories and is provided to the States, so we get the money if we are willing to match funds with the Commonwealth.

The Department of Health and Community Care has received a verbal indication from the Commonwealth that they will offer funds for the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement and HACC funding. They will offer additional funding for both the CSDA and HACC for 1996-97. Funds will then be on-passed to the programs following consideration and acceptance of Commonwealth funds. Following notification of additional funding being available in the 1995-96 budget, individual agreements were increased. The hourly rate was increased from $22 to $22.35 last year.

With regard to this year, Mr Moore, we have given an undertaking that we will match the Commonwealth increase in funding, and the amount that it is increased by will then be passed on to the clients involved. So, if the Commonwealth offers 2 per cent, we will match that with 2 per cent as well. That is the way that the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement works and that is what will happen. At times that may not be the CPI; at other times it may be. It really does depend on what happens with the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement.

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, in the background I gave to you when I gave you some notice I indicated that we are talking about an autistic woman. She will need part disability services care for some years. I indicated to you that her history included sexual abuse by a staff member from Community Care in the last 18 months. I indicated to you that she now has an opportunity for a place in a Steiner school in Carlingford in Sydney, but the only condition on which they will accept her is if that is indexed. Will you take appropriate action to ensure that this woman, who has been sexually abused by a staff member in your department, has a reasonable chance to have a fair start in life?

MRS CARNELL: The person involved is a long-term client, as Mr Moore will be aware. As members also will be aware, of course, individual support packages are available via the ACT Government and Commonwealth Government together. In this particular case, though, this package is paid for by the ACT Government alone. The reason for that is that this client is on 47 hours a week care. That is outside the normal parameters for ISPs. The client currently has an annual allowance of $54,623, I understand, and that will increase in line with the increase in the hourly rate this year. The amount that the Commonwealth offers is the same for every State, so I assume that the sort of increase that we will be able to offer out of the ACT will be the same as that which would be able to be offered by New South Wales as well. Fairly obviously, we are not in a position to offer one client a different hourly rate than other clients in our disability service.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .