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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2971 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

and space used by tenants. You may well have some details before the committee you are on, in fact vice-chair of, in relation to tenancies in our schools. In one of your inquiries I understand the department provided you with the detail. The money that comes from those tenancies is a very significant factor. As I said earlier, I think you have a list of tenancies in particular schools.

Safe Injecting Rooms

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Was a motion passed at the ACT Liberal Party branch meeting last month seeking to delay the vote in the Assembly on the proposed establishment of heroin safe injecting places and instead consulting the people of the ACT by holding a referendum on the subject?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I can only be asked questions on matters I have responsibility for in the Assembly. He is out of order.

MR SPEAKER: Correct. I uphold that. The Chief Minister is not responsible - - -

Mr Osborne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Perhaps Mr Moore, as a member of the Liberal Party, could answer it. I do not know whether it was his motion.

MR SPEAKER: Sit down. The question is out of order because it does not fall within the Chief Minister's portfolio.

Drug and Alcohol Counselling Service

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care. It relates to the accessibility of services to people who seek counselling and support for drug or alcohol use or to their family members. It is particularly about the restructure of the Drug and Alcohol Unit. I understand that prior to the restructure there was in place a duty counsellor system whereby people seeking such help could drop in to the service and see the duty counsellor the same day on four days of the week. I understand that the restructured service does away with this system as well as doing away with specific other functions such as the health promotion function of the unit. My office has received some worrying concerns about the effects of this new intake system on the accessibility of this service to people, who are often in crisis and often only open to treatment for a critical time, which is when they make their first contact. Concern has also been expressed about loss of expertise in the unit because of the new case management system where broader responsibilities are taken by individuals. My question is: Could the Minister explain how the removal of the duty system will benefit consumers? I am also particularly interested to know what the budget is for training of those individuals who in the restructured system now have different responsibility, what training is actually made available and what qualifications are required for these workers.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, there is a series of questions there. I will answer them in the best way I can. First of all, I think it is important to note that whenever change occurs there is always somebody who feels that some part of the change is not particularly good in some way or another, and invariably there is some truth in that. But when a change occurs, you do a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that overall you get much better service delivery for the same amount of money or within the budget that is available.

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