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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2337 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, as members have seen, in framing its 2001-02 budget, the Government has been very responsive to the needs of the ACT Community and initiatives are being implemented which address many of the ideas and concerns raised in submissions from the community and which the Committee also considered.

Most of our health budget initiatives will be provided to community based care and services. That is, services outside of the hospital system.

Some examples include:

Home based outreach for young people;

additional drug and outreach services;

dental services;

parenting services; and

disability services.

The initiatives contained in the budget provide services and care for the most disadvantaged in our community. There is a particular focus on assisting people with special needs in areas of mental health, disability, youth, aged care and services to our indigenous community.

In addition, the budget also responds to the broader strategies of Government such as poverty, early intervention and other overarching strategies such as the Forward Plan for Older People, the Young People's Framework and the Women's Action Plan.

The Committee also sought advice on what community consultation the Government undertook in planning the budget. Many of these initiatives have been developed in consultation with the community and the non-government sector. As can be seen from the response tabled today, consultation has been comprehensive and has occurred at a number of levels.

As members would be aware, consultation occurred at the whole of Government level on the Government's proposed budget initiatives. The community and community organisations were supportive of the proposals contained in the draft budget.

In fact, in some cases, proposals were amended following feedback from the community. For example, the final budget for post-hospitalisation services provided substantially more funding. It was proposed to fund initiatives to the value of $276,000 in the draft budget and the budget has allocated funding of $1.5 million in the first year and over $500,000 per annum in the forward years.

Mr Speaker, the Government has also noted it will further consider some of the Committee's recommendations in finalising service purchasing arrangements with the non-government sector. There are also other processes in train where commitments could not be made. For example, the current review of therapy services and a whole of Government planning process for the provision of therapy services to children and young people is currently being undertaken. We will await the outcome of such processes to ensure resources are being effectively used.

In relation to the concerns of the Committee about affordable housing, the Government has funded a number of additional housing projects. For example, $2.67 million has been allocated to a pilot program to expand affordable housing options.

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