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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3923 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

We have learned from the Christmas bushfires of 2001. We paid attention to that. That review had been going on for quite some time. The beginning of that review might well have pre-dated the 2001 fires, as it was a requirement to do it in any event. I must have missed your point-or there was no point there at all. I made those statements at the time, and it is the case that we increased the effort in that year. I can tell you, and Mr Cornwell, that we have substantially increased the effort this year.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. Do your current briefing notes on the current bushfire season give the same spin as they did last year?

MR WOOD: You are the professionals of spin!

Mr Stanhope: And at doing nothing and at making a mess of things.

MR WOOD: You can say that!

Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

MR WOOD: Mrs Dunne, you didn't hear my answer to Mr Cornwell. You should have listened to that.

Aged and disabled people

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Health, Mr Corbell. Minister, can you inform the Assembly of recent initiatives to assist aged and disabled people to live independently in their community?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that I have announced today that a range of community organisations across Canberra will share in an additional $11/2 million for home and community care programs to provide enhanced services to aged people, and in particular frail aged people, as well as younger people with a disability in our community. This is joint funding from the ACT government of three-quarters of a million dollars and an equivalent amount from the Commonwealth government to provide a range of care services for older Canberrans as well as younger people with disabilities and their carers, and is designed to support them in a residential setting.

Mr Speaker, the ACT government contributes over $8 million per annum to the $17 million home and community care budget in the ACT, and this additional $11/2 million has been funded equally between the territory and the Commonwealth government. Eleven community organisations will share this additional $11/2 million. It is worth noting that primarily the funding will go towards improved domestic assistance, home maintenance and modification, centre-based care, case management and coordination, client services and social support. Mr Speaker, this is a strong indication of this government's commitment to providing further assistance to older Canberrans.

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