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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 481 ..

ACT Housing Properties - Tenants with Disabilities

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services in his capacity as the Minister responsible for housing. Can the Minister outline to the Assembly the formal arrangements for consultation between the Housing Trust and the Department of Health and Community Care in relation to the modification and maintenance of Housing Trust properties occupied by people with disabilities?

MR SMYTH: I understand that there are ongoing discussions at this very moment, particularly in relation to Housing Trust tenants who are there under the auspices of the mental health unit. I am not fully aware of how those discussions are travelling and would be grateful to take the question on notice. I will get back to members as quickly as I can.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the Minister's undertaking to get back. In particular, though, I am interested in the people with physical disabilities, as opposed to mental disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Whilst I am at it I might ask the Minister a supplementary question to augment that. Can the Minister confirm that tenants with disabilities receive a priority in the application of funds for modifications identified as being necessary by occupational health officers - the OTs - from the Department of Health and Community Care, so that they can have preservation of their quality of life?

MR SMYTH: That is a very important question. Indeed, my department is currently working with Mr Moore's department to ensure, for instance, that one very needy Canberra family actually do get the attention that they deserve. They are negotiating with the OT of that family at this stage to find a very suitable site. I will get back to you with full details of how it is progressing.

Government Purchasing Guidelines

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, through you, I put a question to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, yesterday I asked you a question about the process by which J. Walter Thompson was awarded a contract and your last comment in answering that question - I refer to Hansard - was:

Certainly, from a Government perspective, open tender is not a holy grail. What is a holy grail is getting the right outcomes ...

Then there were a couple of words that I will omit because they are irrelevant. You continued:

From that perspective, I stand by the approach of not going to open tender when we believe we can get the outcomes in a better and different way.

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