Page 4612 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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The community housing sector is another area of housing need in this town that not so much concerns me but occupies my time, to the extent that I want and have had conversations with the community itself about it. Contrary to those opposite when they were in power, I have actually gone down and had direct conversations with those in the sector.

Mr Smyth: Ooh! I always went down, so did Bill.

MR HARGREAVES: I have had a number of housing forums where I have had a range of people come around the table—tenants, community housing providers, social housing providers, public housing providers, private housing providers—and we have talked about various subjects covering the whole of the housing issues. The conversation that this government has directly with those affected in the sector—directly, through those housing forums and through other conversations with people like those at the Havelock Housing Association—will culminate in the summit in February.

Mr Smyth: A summit?

MR HARGREAVES: I hear Mr Smyth denigrating the idea of talking to the community directly. How clever is that! Those people who are connected with the sector have congratulated the government on, one, being so personally involved with their subject; two, giving them sufficient time to collect together the information they need for the summit; and three, being involved in the constitution of the topics to be discussed in that summit—at the conclusion of which we will have a comprehensive picture of what really needs to be done in this town.

We have now got to the stage where the Stanhope government have picked up the shambles that these people left in 2001 and have got it on an even keel. We have done the repair and we will move forward. This time we will move forward in partnership with the community, instead of in opposition to it.

MRS BURKE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, given that Havelock Housing Association has achieved high accolades recently, when will you provide adequate resources for specialists who can meet the unmet need of supporting Havelock’s clients?

MR HARGREAVES: We already do.

Mental health—beyondblue

MS MacDONALD: My question is to Mr Corbell, the Minister for Health. Minister, yesterday you signed the ACT’s ongoing commitment to the beyondblue program. Could you tell the Assembly about the benefits to the ACT in being part of this program?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. Yes, yesterday I was very pleased to join with the Chairman of beyondblue, Mr Jeff Kennett, to sign another five-year funding agreement between the ACT government and beyondblue for their ongoing work.

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