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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 813 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

that is not safe. Until they reach a crisis point, they literally do not have the capacity to know that they can go to another situation. (Extension of time granted.) So, hopefully, when it gets to the crisis point there will be help in Canberra. We are hearing that there will be help and we are hearing that Mr Moore is committed to it. But we have to look at the broad structural causes when we are talking about preventing a crisis.

I would like to address quickly one other issue. I notice that Mr Moore talked about moving crisis accommodation funds related to SAAP services to more general use. I have not heard that before. I think there will be concern about that in the sector because it will mean a diminishing of the funding for the SAAP services, and I do not know that we should be taking money away from that sector.

MR WOOD (5.47): Mr Speaker, I want to focus on one point in particular, and I will do so in a positive way because I think the debate generally has been non-partisan. I think there was the possibility of a slowdown with the change of ministers from Minister Stefaniak to Minister Moore. I think we are back on track now.

Mr Stefaniak came to one of the committee hearings of the Health and Community Care Committee and announced that there was upwards of $11/2 million to help meet the SACS award. In fact, as I recall it, he made the statement before the inevitable questions were asked. I think perhaps that information was not conveyed when the changeover took place and I am pleased to see that Mr Moore is now back on track with that. I note that in response to a question in this place a couple of weeks ago, Mr Moore indicated that that funding will be allocated. As I recall, he said that there would be some assessment of where the needs were. I just want to make the point that I think we know where the needs are.

This funding has been much delayed, for whatever reason, and I am not sure whether we need any further delay in assessing where it needs to go. I think there has been clear agreement around the chamber in the debate today that we know where the funding needs to go. I just make the plea that I would not want to see the allocation of that money slowed down any more than is absolutely necessary. I think it should be out there next week with the providers-it should have been with them last week, or the week before last. But certainly, it should be with them as soon as possible.

We have complete agreement that there is a very significant problem in this area. There are heavy demands and much need. Let us see that the resources that are there sitting and waiting are allocated immediately.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.49), in reply: Just to conclude, Mr Speaker: I will not reiterate what has been said. I think it has been a particularly useful debate. I think it has been quite appropriate on this occasion to highlight the issues in the context of International Women's Day and the length of the road yet to be travelled in assuring equality and the provision of appropriate services for women.

I think the contributions from members have been generally good and I appreciate that. I appreciate the fact that members have taken the opportunity to focus on this area and in particular on the level of domestic violence within the community and the fact that there is, quite obviously, a significant area of unmet need in the ACT in relation to the provision and resourcing of services designed to assist women in crisis. I think it is an

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