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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3822 ..

MR STANHOPE: I answered at the time, Mr Cornwell. You should have been on the job, mate. I guess that the fact that you have come back with the issue today is a reflection of the fact that your mind is not on the Senate, or on the leadership. Are you challenging for the leadership, too, like Mrs Dunne and Mr Smyth? You are the elder statesman here, Mr Cornwell. Are they overlooking you again-overlooking your obvious talent again?

We have Mrs Dunne coming in, a mere spriteling who has been here for 12 months. We have Mr Pratt-

MR SPEAKER: Order! We'll get to the question soon, I'm sure.

MR STANHOPE: He has been here for 12 months and wants to be a senator. Mrs Dunne has been here for two minutes and wants to be the leader.

Mr Cornwell: Mr Speaker, is he relocating these people to the Senate? Is that his answer?

MR SPEAKER: Will you come to the point of the question please, Chief Minister?

MR STANHOPE: Certainly, and, Mr Cornwell, I appreciate your interest in this particular issue. As indicated before, Community Care has been looking at how best to utilise and to provide services for people requiring aged care facilities that currently utilise those facilities at Narrabundah and at Dickson.

There has been significant discussion with clients and with carers. There has been major concern expressed, through the department and by others, at the appropriateness of the facilities that we have available, particularly at Narrabundah and less so at Dickson, in terms of their utility for providing the range and the sorts of services that Community Care as a health provider would seek to provide to people seeking aged care, and certainly those that are looking for some respite in circumstances where they care for an aged family member or an aged person.

The view that the department has come to in relation to this is that we, as health care providers, can better utilise the resources available to us by concentrating our care in a range of areas, but much of the service that is provided to those that utilise both Narrabundah and Dickson is by way of respite care. We believe that there are other providers that might, with greater productivity and utility, provide that particular sort of service for some of our clients. In addition to that, we are concerned to better utilise other facilities that are available to us and there will be a rationalisation of service provision to that extent, insofar as we will seek to use other aged care facilities.

As you would be aware, Mr Cornwell, we currently have other aged care facilities operating in Tuggeranong and Belconnen. The proposal essentially is that some of the clients that wish to continue through an aged care facility run by the department will utilise those health care facilities at Tuggeranong and Belconnen. Those things are being negotiated with the clients. There is some anxiety within some families and with some clients about the nature of the change and the basis of the move.

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