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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2624 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

At this stage, ACT Housing is able to pay for urgent and minor maintenance. If, however, the demand for urgent and minor maintenance exceeds the funds available during the period 1998-99, ACT Housing would review other programs, such as upgrading and planned maintenance, with a view to identifying funds that could be transferred. Forward estimates for the years 1999-2000 provide a similar budget to this financial year's.

Mr Speaker, contracts let for urgent and minor maintenance are for a minimum period of two years. Tenders are to be called in October 1999. Particular attention is paid to past performances of contractors who previously held contracts with ACT Housing and who re-tender. Mr Speaker, if ACT Housing receives complaints about the standard of work carried out by contractors, they are investigated and, if substantiated, the contractor is required to make good his work. Should repeated complaints be received about a contractor, ACT Housing issues a warning to the contractor that he could be in breach of his contract and advises him of the consequences if further complaints are received. Mr Speaker, I am pleased to say, however, that the latest Ombudsman's report noted that the number of complaints about ACT Housing's delivery of services has, in fact, declined.

Mental Illness

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, yesterday Mr Rugendyke asked me a question about the Work Resources Centre in relationship, my recollection is, with Michelle's. In fact, as it turns out, it is with Annabelle's; but we will get our Michelles and Annabelles sorted out as I provide my answer to the question.

In March 1998 Work Resources Centre Inc. was awarded a contract for the provision for supported accommodation services for people with mental illness. They are funded to provide accommodation support for a minimum of 13 clients at any one time. Work Resources Centre Inc's original submission and subsequent contract specified the working arrangement and alliance between Annabelle's Home Services, normally called Annabelle's, and Work Resources Centre Inc. The Work Resources Centre is responsible for the administration and acquittal of the contract, of professional advice, backup and/or support to Annabelle's and the support workers on issues relating to mental illness. This is in conjunction with Mental Health Services and case managers.

Work Resources Centre Inc. is involved in the recruitment and training of support workers. Currently Annabelle's supplies the Work Resources Centre with the same, regular, seven support workers, two of whom have been trained by the Work Resources Centre Inc. It also is involved in negotiating and meeting with Mental Health Services and establishing a memorandum of understanding; negotiating with ACT Housing and others to obtain houses; establishing protocols and quality system reporting, ongoing monitoring and evaluation; initial screening of referrals to the service and first meeting between the client and the case manager to discuss what services can be provided and how the client's needs are met.

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