Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 March 2005) . . Page.. 691 ..
I have to say that using emotive terms like “competitive misery” sells newspapers but it is also wrong. It is grossly wrong and I am surprised that members in this place would resort to such arrant nonsense.
What we do know is that every single person who applies for support for an ISP is deserving of that support. There is no competition. What is the picture painted by Dr Foskey and Mrs Burke? They say, “Well if you want an ISP support fund, you can go and chop your leg off. That will make you even worse. Good idea! You’ll get some funding.” That is arrant nonsense.
Mrs Burke: Shame!
MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Burke yells out “Shame!” Quite frankly, I think she has been to too many Labor Party rallies, industrial disputes, where we talk about the Liberal Party’s record, their unfair dismissal of their staff, non-payment of long service leave, those sorts of issues. That is when “Shame!” comes into it. You have been to too many rallies.
This government, as Ms MacDonald indicated, has committed an additional $22 million towards disability initiatives in the ACT. $22 million is not what I call doing nothing. It provided $4.5 million to support people with high and complex needs. That is not falling between the cracks. It committed $1.93 million to the ACT taxi subsidy scheme. What does that do? That adds money so that people can have an increased quality of life. There is $4.25 million for unmet need, including the establishment of a local area coordination service to encourage people with disabilities to become active participants in the planning of their services. It is inclusion, not exclusion. Exclusion was a hallmark of the Humphries-Carnell years.
There is $2.3 million for single therapy services; $1.68 million for respite services so that people can have the strength to look after their relatives with disabilities; $2.69 million for special needs support for clients with complex behaviours and $4.43 million in government infrastructure funding. This is not deserting people with disabilities. Of course we would like to do more. On top of that, of course, from next financial year there is $3.23 million to establish an intensive care and treatment program of people with dual disabilities and complex behavioural problems; starting next year $1.63 million to expand autism assessment and support services. If Mrs Burke wants to talk about energy, I will match my energy in fighting for people with disabilities any day of the week against any member here. I actually take umbrage at the cowardly criticism by Mrs Burke, with throwaway lines criticising former ministers in this place.
Mr Stefaniak: You are obsessed.
MR HARGREAVES: I am obsessed, I have to say, Mr Stefaniak, with the quality service that Mr Wood put in this place. Mrs Burke is not fit to walk in Bill Wood’s shadow. She is not fit to walk in his shadow. Mrs Burke would do well—
Mr Stefaniak: Point of order, Mr Speaker. I think that is a reflection on another member. That is a very personal attack, and unfounded, too. It is a breach of standing orders.