Page 2399 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 28 June 2005

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Corporation. I understand that there has been progress on the initiative to establish a bush healing farm, funded in last year’s budget.

Other community gaps in this budget that have been identified by community groups are in relation to palliative care and discharge planning. It is also a shame to see funding allocated for the redevelopment at Karralika return to general revenue. I believe that the initial process was flawed and that the failure to actively engage the community in the beginning has led to a situation where we now face considerable delay in addressing unmet need for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

Turning to the initiatives that are committed in this budget: the large investment in acute health initiatives, including the additional elective surgery capacity, equipment for hospitals, discharge lounges and pharmaceuticals, are all important. However, the rising costs of acute health should serve as a reminder of the importance of investing in health promotion and prevention strategies. I do not think that we are promoting primary health and wellbeing nearly to the extent that we could be.

There are some important community health initiatives, including the dental health program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the intermittent care program and the initiative that provides support for high-needs children with a disability to live at home.

I welcome the additional funding for home and community care, noting that this is matched by commonwealth finding. I would encourage the government to consider the needs of carers, particularly young carers, in distributing this additional funding. The recent report into young carers conducted by the Youth Coalition has highlighted the needs of this group and the funding allocated to support the ACT government’s caring for carers policy has been relatively limited to date.

I also want to support the government in reforming community sector funding indexation, but I do not agree with the 12-month delay. We may be in a tight fiscal position this year, but I believe the government has its priorities wrong when it forces community groups to struggle with viability issues for another year while it invests substantially in recreation and leisure initiatives.

At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.


Sexual servitude

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.01): Mr Speaker, last Saturday the federal Liberal council unanimously passed a motion to approve the way that we in Australia deal with victims of sexual servitude, which is, as we know, an abhorrent and, unhappily, growing aspect of organised crime. This crime takes many forms. It can involve would-be migrants being promised certain kinds of work but when they come to Australia being forced into prostitution. It almost invariably involves women entering into what is known as a debt contract which they pay off by having sex with as many men as their owners are prepared to force upon them. They are owned; they are slaves.

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