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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1583 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

will target disadvantaged families and students, including those students most at risk of not completing school. Funding of $2.6 million will be allocated across four years for this initiative.

Mr Speaker, funding of $2.3 million over four years will be provided for the curriculum renewal project for preschools through to Year 10 in government schools.

The non-government school sector will receive an additional $1.5 million over four years for kindergarten and Years 1-3 in recognition of the importance of the early years of schooling.

These initiatives will have a real impact where it is most needed-inside the school gate. At the end of the day, there will be a very significant list of programs that the school community of the ACT will benefit from because of Labor's decision to turn the Liberal's $27 million bribe into something actually useful in education.

Building community capacity

Mr Speaker, this government again demonstrates its commitment to assisting those with the greatest need.

An extra $6.9 million, over four years, has been allocated for services for people with a disability. This will address unmet needs, enhance allied health services for post-school aged adolescents and adults with disabilities, and provide an economic incentive to encourage drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis to give priority to people in wheelchairs.

Mr Speaker, the budget targets key priority areas identified in the Needs Analysis of Homelessness in the ACT and the standing committee report on Accommodation and Support Services for Homeless Fathers and their Children. Funding of $13.4 million over four years will be provided to confront the issue of homelessness in the territory.

This will provide increased short-term supported accommodation for families and single men in crisis, extended outreach services for homeless people, and capacity enhancement of existing supported accommodation assistance program services to more effectively respond to issues of homelessness in the ACT. In the next two years this will provide crisis and transitional accommodation, as well as support for more than 90 families, 90 men and 12 couples.

Mr Speaker, in light of recent increases in property values in the ACT, the current home buyer concession scheme for low income earners will be updated to better reflect current property prices and income levels. This will assist those on lower incomes to purchase homes and improve housing affordability. This initiative will assist at least 400 eligible homebuyers from next financial year.

Mr Speaker, the government is also consolidating its relationship with the community sector. As a result of the review of service purchasing the government has approved in principle a change in the government's relationship with the community sector from one of purchaser/provider to one based on a partnership approach. This is in line with the compact of understanding between the government and the community sector.

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