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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1863 ..

These budget allocations have far exceeded our election commitments.

(3 and 4) Funding for small business access grants

The Access City Working Group was established in 2001 to work on the implementation of the 'Access City' proposal originally presented to government by ACROD, Disabled People's Initiative and Community Information and Referral Service. The issue of the business grants to increase accessibility of businesses was one part of this proposal.

The Working Group considered the proposal of business grants in detail, but experienced difficulty in the implementation of the project. The Working Group decided that a more efficient way to achieve the same goal was to establish a project that would work with businesses to make their premises accessible for people with disabilities. $40,000 was allocated through the Department of Urban Services, Community Partnerships Program in 2002-03 for a project named 'Mapping the Accessible City'. The Access City Working Group has advised me that although there is merit in the grants proposal, they believe that the work involved in this project will better target the needs of people with a disability, and create a greater community impact. As this project will achieve similar outcomes, and is expected to be able to be duplicated in other regional areas, it has replaced the small business access grants proposal.

Housing-counselling for tenants

(Question No 701)

Mrs Burke

asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services,

upon notice:

In relation to financial counselling for tenants:

In 2001 Labor committed to an increase of funding to CARE financial services of $50,000 per year. The funding was to be directed to financial counselling for housing tenants. Was this money allocated in the 2002-03 Budget and if so where in the Budget, if not, why not;

Are there funds in the 2003-04 Budget for the purpose listed above.

Mr Wood: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

The 2002-03 budget for ACT Housing included funding for financial counselling by CARE financial services. The budget for financial counselling is part of the $49.903m Administrative Expenses shown on Page 253 of the 2002-03 Budget Paper No. 4. Payments to date for this service amount to $78,852.

The 2003-04 budget for ACT Housing includes an allowance for financial counselling of $100,000.

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