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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (17 November) . . Page.. 2568 ..

Supported Accommodation for People with Mental Illness

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care, Mr Moore. I refer to a grant of $130,000 for this financial year awarded to the Work Resources Centre to provide community-based supported accommodation for people with mental illness. Minister, is it the case that Michelle's Home Care and Nursing Agency actually provides the service on behalf of the Work Resources Centre? If so, why was that contract not awarded directly to the agency?

MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Rugendyke, for the question. I am not aware of the specific contract that you are talking about and whether or not Michelle's does, in fact, deliver the work. However, I am happy to say to you that it does not worry me if that is the case, because there are certain times when the most appropriate way for us to provide services is to purchase them from a particular organisation and they, in turn, deliver in the way that they see fit. If, in fact, this particular case has a further additional problem to it, then, of course, we would want to deal with that particular problem. Mr Rugendyke, I shall find out more information about that particular situation and report back to you and the Assembly on the specifics.

MR RUGENDYKE: Thank you, Minister. I have a supplementary question. Could you also find out what percentage of the $130,000 that should be used to care for people with mental illness is skimmed off the top as commission by the Work Resources Centre?

MR MOORE: Mr Rugendyke, I shall seek that information. I will also have to take into account whether that interferes with privacy principles or commercial-in-confidence principles, but I will certainly find out. If, indeed, I have a problem along those lines, then I would be prepared to give you a confidential briefing on the matter.

Housing Maintenance

MR WOOD: My question is to Mr Smyth as the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, I am receiving reports that ACT Housing tenants are being told that there is little money left for urgent or unforeseen maintenance and that some of the work being carried out is of a stopgap nature. Is there a lack of funds for urgent or unforeseen maintenance in this financial year and the next financial year?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, as always there would never be enough funds to maintain a stock of 12,000 houses to the absolute peak of what could be required. This year we put aside large amounts of money in the budget. I will confirm for Mr Wood the status of those funds. We allocate those funds on a needs basis. I will get further information and give it to Mr Wood as soon as I can find out.

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for that, but there does seem to be some concern among tenants that urgent work is being done in a less than perfect way in some circumstances. It is the urgent work that I am talking about, not the longer-term maintenance that you have. In that answer, if you cannot answer me now, would you also tell me how those urgent maintenance funds are allocated?

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