Page 4635 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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relation to carer issues in the disability, home and community care, health, mental health, drug and alcohol, aged care, education and family sectors.

The government will continue to work with carers to address as best we can the unmet need that they identify. Carers will continue to play a role in the carers implementation partnership and consultations around the development of polices, programs, and projects that impact upon their lives. Amending legislation through the carer recognition bill will form part of that ongoing journey.

I commend to the Assembly the first progress report Caring for carers in the ACT: a plan for action 2004 to 2007 and the government response to the report on the review of carers legislation in the ACT.

Homelessness strategy

Paper and statement by minister

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.33): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Homelessness Strategy—Breaking the Cycle—First Progress Report for the period July 2004-June 2005, dated November 2005.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank members. I am pleased to table in the Assembly today the first progress report on the implementation of Breaking the cycle: the ACT homelessness strategy. Breaking the cycle is an ambitious strategy, but to engender real social change and improve the lives of people experiencing or at risk of transitioning from homelessness we must be ambitious. I am proud of the achievements of our community in implementing the strategy to date. There are many players involved, and each has, in their own way, been influential in improving the ACT’s response to homelessness.

As you would be aware, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the homelessness strategy provides the framework for achieving the coordinated community response to homelessness. This first progress report, Breaking the cycle: the ACT homelessness strategy, provides an overview of the range of activities associated with implementation from June 2004 to July 2005. Homelessness is a complex issue, and Breaking the cycle has been a dynamic policy document that has changed to meet emerging needs and new priorities. To reflect this dynamic nature, the ACT Homelessness Committee has endorsed a revised implementation schedule for some action.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, you would also be aware that during anti-poverty week the government announced that a poverty-proofing trial, using the Irish model, would form part of the midpoint evaluation of the homelessness strategy. I have embraced the opportunity to be the minister to conduct the ACT’s first poverty-proofing trial, for two reasons. The first is the nexus between homelessness and poverty. People with an income and assets rarely become homeless. The second is that, by running a poverty-proofing

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