Page 1069 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 16 March 2005

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MR HARGREAVES: Don’t tell me you don’t talk to her? She was in fact congratulating the ACT government on the homelessness strategy. Just today I got this letter from Senator Patterson saying how effective our homelessness strategy and the funding has been in addressing homelessness issues in the ACT. It is a shame the shadow minister does not talk to her federal counterpart; she might learn something. The shadow minister also claimed that the states and territories had failed to match the commonwealth’s GST compensation. Unfortunately for Mrs Burke she appears to have overlooked schedule 2 of the SAAP IV MOU, which clearly states:

… new funding available from the Commonwealth for SAAP IV arising from tax reform is not required to be matched by the States and Territories.

I think the shadow minister needs to get her facts right before she lurches into the media with these outrageous claims. Sadly, it is an all too common occurrence and I do not hold out much hope that things will change. An examination of the SAAP Act and the SAAP IV agreements will reveal that the ACT has done more than its fair share and continues to do more than its fair share. In fact, in that one year, comparing those two years, the Stanhope government is actually giving two and half times that that the Liberal Party gave. And they have the temerity to stand up in this place and say we are not carrying our weight. What an absolute load of garbage. I look forward to the many more occasions in the life of this Assembly when Mrs Burke makes a complete goose of herself.

Disability services

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, an article in the Canberra Times on 9 March 2005 headed, “Family bears burden of care for disabled son” stated that the McIntyre family were one of 17 short-listed applicants who did not receive an individual support package, or ISP. Would you advise how this particular family is being catered for specifically by the department, as the article mentions that alternative services and support would be made available to unsuccessful applicants.

MR HARGREAVES: I have absolutely no intention of discussing individual cases in this chamber. However, I will address the substance of Mrs Burke’s question because, if she leads with her chin, I just do not have the self-restraint to refuse it. I have stood up in this place before and told Mrs Burke—or tried to tell Mrs Burke; clearly I did not get through—how we deal with people who are unsuccessful in their applications for independent support packages.

The short answer is this: there are a number of people for whom we must provide the funds, and we do. There were 52 of them, if my memory serves me correctly. Of the remaining 206, some people do not satisfy the criteria and would never get funding anyway, and some people deserve funding or some other type of support. Every single person who met the criteria who has not received funding has received an offer from the department to work with them individually on a range of processes that might be able to suit them. Those arrangements might be respite care or other in-home support around the traps. That offer is made to people who have made application for an ISP and were not

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