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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 335 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

under Labor, $9.264m was spent. Then the Liberal Party took over. In 1995-96, $8.226m was spent; in 1996-97, $6.764m; and in 1997-98, $6.576m. The difference between 1993-94 under Labor, $10.1m, and 1997-98 under Liberal, $6.57m, I think says it all. If there was ever undue reliance on external consultants, it was not by the Liberal Party.

Detoxification Unit

MR MOORE: I took a couple of questions on notice yesterday that I would like to answer. Ms Tucker - she is not here, but not to worry - asked me about the detoxification unit being closed for a period of time in December and January, how many people contacted the backup service, what happened to those people and what backup services were available at the time. I hope Ms Tucker is listening somewhere. Although the alcohol and drug program detoxification unit was closed for the period, the program ran a reduced service, using detoxification unit staff, from another building on the hospital grounds. A 24-hour phone line was established to ensure that people with urgent needs could be attended to. Staff on duty were able to manage nine outpatient withdrawals. The limited service appeared to be adequate for the demand, which traditionally drops off at this time. No further backup was required and the Department of Community Care have received no complaints about this service.

Young Carers

MR MOORE: On Tuesday I took a question on notice from Mr Osborne, who also does not appear to be here at the moment, but what the hell. He asked me about community organisations that have reported that 600 children under the age of 18 are care givers in the ACT, 85 per cent of them in the 10 to 14 age group. He said that these children are doing work around the home, housework, and that the issues were highlighted at a community forum last year. I am happy to provide the details in response to Mr Osborne's question.

Mr Speaker, it is a fairly long answer and since Mr Osborne is not here at the moment I table it and seek leave of members to incorporate it in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows:

Mr Osborne asked the Minister for Health:

Community organisations have reported that 600 children under the age of 18 are care givers in the ACT, 85% of these are in the 10-14 years of age. These children are doing such work as changing of colostomies to house work. Is the Government aware of the numbers? What practical support is being given to these children?

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