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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 937 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

the conference will be held later this year in Canberra and the attendance of the 60 mental health consumers from the ACT will be an important and practical demonstration of the government's commitment to engaging consumers in decision making.

The mental health executive that is part of the new organisation Mental Health ACT has a permanent consumer representative on the mental health executive of that organisation. Ms Elizabeth Morgan, who is the chairperson of the Mental Health Consumer Network, is involved in that process of day-to-day consultation in terms of the operations of Mental Health ACT.

These are important initiatives that engage consumers directly in mental health policy and mental health service delivery. It is hard to get this group of people engaged and involved and we need to be very practical and very supportive in ensuring that they are actually engaged and involved.

It is worth highlighting that the government has allocated close to $250,000 to assist mental health consumer participation just in this financial year. Just in this financial year, $250,000 has been allocated to engage mental health consumers in mental health service delivery. It is about ensuring that consumers, the people who suffer from mental illness and mental disorders, have the opportunity to be involved in determining both the services and the policies that affect them and it demonstrates the government's commitment to engaging with those in our community who are financially disadvantaged and socially disadvantaged the most.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Clean Up Australia Day

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER (3.15): I am happy to join in this debate. There is a more general reflection we could make when talking about Clean Up Australia Day. That is about how, as a society, we are so focused on production, goods and owning things for a short while and then disposing of them. We have to carry increasingly serious costs for the whole disposable society.

The economic system that we have profited from over the past 200 years has never built in the real costs of wasting resources or disposing of waste. Those costs are borne by an eroded and diminished physical environment, unhealthy rivers and the frantic exploitation of mineral resources around the world, with, at times, a destructive impact on the environments and the people who live there. It is an impact that will be carried by future generations.

While cleaning up Australia is a warm and constructive community response to the symptoms of an ongoing problem, it does not come to grips with the problem itself. I commend the motion to congratulate the volunteers. They are responsible community members who want to be part of cleaning up this beautiful country we live in. That has a community-building factor in it, too, which is greater than the mere fact that we are cleaning up areas that are littered.

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