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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 862 ..

Question resolved in the affirmative.


That the report be noted.

MR HARGREAVES: The committee, in its consideration of this report, received 26 submissions from a wide cross-section of the community. The committee saw its role in this process as one of drawing the government's attention to issues raised by the participating organisations, rather than seeing its role as one of recommending funding for particular organisations. It did not see itself as an extension of the arm of the executive, but rather as an instrument of the Assembly. The committee advised witnesses of such when they appeared. As part of this role, the committee forwarded copies of the submission to the Treasurer, to ensure that individual applications for funding were actually received, and in the system.

A number of issues were raised relating to the needs of the indigenous community. The committee acknowledges that those issues were raised-curiously, not by indigenous organisations-by organisations with an interest in the wellbeing of the indigenous community.

Interestingly, we did not receive a submission from any indigenous organisation. I am a little bit sad about that. The biggest issue, by a long shot, was that of housing. I draw members' attention to the chapters dealing with that. I will not go into the detail, but housing was a major issue and a consistent thread all the way through. The most frequently raised issues related to affordability, and the future of community and public housing. The distinction between the two was acute. There is a need for an independent central housing referral service, and there is a need for separate reporting on community and public housing outcomes.

Crisis accommodation was also raised as an issue for the government to address in future years. Among the issues, which surprised the committee, was the need for accommodation for couples in crisis. We were not really prepared for that one.

There are people suffering elder abuse. When couples experience that, or when one of the people in that relationship is suffering elder abuse, they both leave the situation in which the abuse is occurring. They can both seek accommodation at various places around town, but not as a couple.

It is better for these people to be bonding together and supporting each other at the time of crisis. To separate them only exacerbates the crisis. The committee has identified a real hole in the provision of crisis support for people suffering elder abuse. The government's attention is drawn to that.

There were requests for supplementary funding for youth issues. The government's attention is also drawn to those comments.

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