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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (29 April) . . Page.. 125 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

to some degree. Mr Speaker, it will not be an easy matter; but, again, I think it is fair to put on the record that the Government does need to manage the budget put aside for this project within the limits constrained already by the size of that budget. Indeed, the Kendrick report indicated that the budget was adequate to meet that task.

Mr Speaker, finally, I just want to very quickly commend the people who have been involved in this process. (Extension of time granted) A number of parties, a number of agencies of government, have been involved in this matter to varying degrees. The Commissioner for Health Complaints has been; the Community Advocate has been; the Discrimination Commissioner, Rosemary Follett, has been; and I thank them for their involvement with this, because it has been a very difficult matter and it has been quite stressful on occasions. The departmental staff who have been working very hard to try to bring this matter to a successful conclusion deserve to be commended as well. They have been criticised by the Kendrick report; but I think you have to acknowledge that there has been goodwill on their part to make this project work. I hope that, under the new Minister, that can actually come to pass.

MS TUCKER (11.26): I was not at the briefing by Mr Humphries, unfortunately. I was unwell at the time. So, I would like a briefing with Mr Moore after this. I have a number of questions that I would like answered. Maybe that briefing would have delivered answers; I am not sure. In terms of this particular motion from Mr Wood, I will support it; but I want to make it clear and on the record that I do not believe that, as other members have said, it is just a matter of locating people into the house. Whether it is the proposed residents or not is another issue that I want more information on.

I will talk to that issue, because I think there are good arguments for the people who did think that they were going to be in that house actually being there; but I am very concerned that you do actually have a clear understanding of the service delivery model that is going to be used before people are moved in. I understand that, at the other house, that was not done and it was quite distressing. So, while I support this motion, my understanding of it is that there needs to be urgent attention given to this issue in its complexity; it is not just about moving people in.

I have obviously read the Kendrick report and the Government's response as well, and I will not go over that again. That has already been discussed. It is clear that there were serious problems. I believe that some of them are ongoing. I will quote just one little bit. It says that the result of it has been uncertainty, confusion, distress, alarm, anxiety and periodic false hopes. That is from the report. That is really quite sad, because it was an idea that was probably well intentioned. I do not agree with Mr Wood that it was well conceived, and neither does Kendrick. My understanding of the process is that, in fact, the model we have now is not what the community consultation should have actually led to, and that is a process in itself which was disappointing and flawed. The fact that we do have this flawed model now - this could quite easily be seen as a mini-institution - brings with it its own problems. Mr Moore talked about compatibility. We have to ensure the compatibility. Obviously, that is a result of this kind of group house model, which is actually not seen anymore to be the most desirable way of moving people out of institutions in Australia.

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