Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1277 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
In the context of the work that has already commenced in the department and the fact that we have moved to implement our election commitment to undertake an empirical study of levels of need for respite care in the ACT, based on the recommendations of the Legislative Assembly's own Standing Committee on Health and Community Care in the report that it delivered in 2000, I, the Labor Party and the government will not be supporting Ms Dundas' motion, as laudable as we, of course, believe it to be, acknowledging that it simply reflects work that is already being done. I am more than happy to report on the outcomes of the study that the government already has in train, as suggested by Ms Dundas.
MR SPEAKER: I am advised that we have run into a verbiage crisis. Ms Dundas, I understand it is your wish to amend your amendment in some small detail. You will need to seek leave to do that.
MS DUNDAS: Due to a typographical error, I seek leave to amend my amendment.
MS DUNDAS: I amend my amendment by omitting the words "That the ACT Government" from paragraph (1) of my amendment. Mr Cornwell's motion commences with the words "That the Government". I move:
Omit from paragraph (1) "That the A.C.T. Government".
MS TUCKER (11.00): My understanding is that Mr Cornwell has asked for a more specific level of inquiry into a particular potential response to respite care for people with dementia. Ms Dundas has broadened that. The government has said that it is doing it anyway and, therefore, it will be amending the amendment to say it has already picked up this issue and it already has in progress the very study that the motion is requesting.
I am well aware of the Standing Committee on Health and Community Care's report to the last Assembly on respite care services in the ACT. That committee was chaired by Mr Wood. I have a slight concern if we are asking, once again, to have more studies done. However, I have heard the government say they have already got an investigation under way, which is good to know.
Quite a number of the recommendations in the committee's report on respite care services deal with dementia. My concern is that basically we need to see action. It is not as if this is a new problem; it is not as if it is something we did not know about. Mr Stanhope has said he knows it is not a new issue. They talked about it in their election campaign and they are doing the work. So my inclination is to support Mr Stanhope's amendment.
Mr Stanhope has also said that in this investigation they will be looking at innovative responses such as the one Mr Cornwell has suggested. As far as I can see, everybody here has raised issues that we all agree need to be addressed. The government has explained that it is addressing them and that an investigation is under way. For the information of