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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3921 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

a client. That highlights some of the difficulties. There are a number of vacant buildings, and a number of landlords have been approached. As soon as they learn of the identity of the client, the advice is that the premises are not available. I say that as a digression, but it is interesting in the context of the comments made by Ms Tucker yesterday and in relation to this issue around the extent to which there is-

Ms Tucker: Why didn't you put them in the Griffin Centre?

MR STANHOPE: There is a whole range of issues in relation to other tenants, as you well know, Ms Tucker. There are other clients in the Griffin Centre that do not want them there, as you probably very well know.

As I said before, there is a balance in everything. Mrs Cross, we are very well aware of issues around ageing buildings and inadequate buildings and the service.

MRS CROSS: Minister, as the population ages, are you satisfied there is sufficient infrastructure to cater for the needs of the elderly, and can you confirm that appropriate sensitivity has been used to minimise undue stress to the residents who will have to be moved to Belconnen and Tuggeranong?

MR STANHOPE: The first part of the supplementary question, Mrs Cross, relates to a wide-ranging issue around aged care and the preparedness or state of play in the ACT in relation to facilities for a rapidly ageing population. If I take a broad-brush approach in response to the question you ask, the answer is simply no. There are enormous pressures in the ACT in relation to aged care facilities across the board. That is revealed by the issue of bed block and access block experienced particularly at the Canberra Hospital and to a lesser extent at Calvary and the enormous pressure that imposes on accident and emergency.

In relation to the issues that you raise around aged day care, we are taking every care to ensure that each of the clients and each of their carers is fully consulted and that upset is kept to a minimum. I think each of us knows through our own life experiences how change is so threatening to many people as they become old and as they become frail. We are very aware of that, and we are dealing with it on an individual basis, consulting with each client individually about their needs and their concerns, and consulting with carers about the wishes and desires of each of the clients in relation to their future care in that field.

National Convention Centre

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is for the minister for tourism, Mr Quinlan, and relates to the National Convention Centre. We know, Minister, that you commissioned a report from Gutteridge Haskin and Davey, architects, into the future of the Convention Centre and this report will form part of the basis of a submission to cabinet. The Canberra Times has reported that business and tourism leaders have wanted to see the report, and they have quoted the remarks Mr John Miller from the Canberra Business Council, endorsed by Mr Souter from the Convention Bureau and Mr Proud from the AHA. The Canberra Times has reported Mr Miller as saying that the industry wanted to see the report so they could have some input into it, because, as Mr Miller said, "Let's face it, they're the experts in this field."

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