Page 534 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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for housing assistance do not provide the necessary documentation or details of changes of circumstances, it is impossible for Housing ACT to respond appropriately.

They say that the house that they were offered to view was not in the right area, which was a bit inconvenient. In fact, the original offer was in Dunlop and they wished to be in Melba. We do things by district, not by suburb. People are well aware of that.

But I wanted actually to give a very quick chronology of events. The people were sponsored as migrants in July 2001 by a medical practitioner relative. The family went on the list, and in January 2004 there was an offer to view a property. The property was declined because one of the people said they were not able to live independently. Fine, no problem. A reassessment was done and the family were then approved for early allocation category 1, with an effective date of 17 November 2003.

During 2004 they were offered an opportunity to look at a property in Dunlop with wheelchair access. They refused it because it was not in Melba. In December 2004, Housing ACT received a fax from the family requesting that the application be changed. Housing ACT received a little later—on 19 January this year—a second fax from the family requesting that their original withdrawal application be withdrawn. On 28 January 2005 they then turned up to Housing ACT with a notice to vacate their private tenancy.

Housing ACT has bent over backwards for this particular family for all of this time and has processed it with the information that they have. I think they have done a sterling job. When they got this notice to evict, they were again interviewed; they were assisted with the application forms; the family was granted EAC 1, that is, early allocation category 1 status, with an effective date of 31 January 2005, which incidentally was only 2 weeks ago. In fact, the application has been reviewed and these applications have been backdated to November 2003—well over 12 months.

I do not see that any human could do more to assist this family who has been in some difficulty, but they have to understand that housing properties are not at the beck and call of people. We will do the best we can, and I am particularly proud of my officers and the work that they have done.

Canberra Hospital

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (6.04): I will just finish that speech that I was giving. There are a number of other measures the government has taken to improve our hospital and our healthcare system.

MR SPEAKER: It is coming back on again, you know.

MS MacDONALD: Yes, I know, but I would like to do it today, to get it over and done with, if that is all right, Mr Speaker, so it is not separated. There are a number of other measures the government has taken to improve our hospital and our healthcare system. We have redeveloped the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital to enhance patient flow; introduced rapid assessment and response teams at the TCH; established an eight-bed clinical decision unit and four multi-bay medical beds at Calvary Hospital; and allocated $11.368 million over four years to increase the number of beds in the intensive care unit at TCH.

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