Page 1799 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2006

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Wednesday, 7 June 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Personal explanation

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs): I seek leave to make a personal statement to the Assembly.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: It is a matter of great embarrassment to me that, last night when I was driving home, I was stopped by the police at a random breath test station on the Tuggeranong Parkway. I did what a good citizen should do and submitted willingly to the test. It is with great regret and sorrow that I inform the Assembly that I failed the test. Police officers escorted me to the Tuggeranong Police Station, where I had a breath analysis test which produced a reading of 0.097. The police officers informed me that I would be prosecuted by way of a summons. I hope that that prosecution is expedited so I can put this matter behind me.

I am not the first person to hold a high office who has come to the attention of the police in this way, but I am mortified to have to stand here today and make this speech. I have offered to stand down from my position as a minister, and the Chief Minister has agreed to that course of action. I apologise also to the people of Canberra, to my colleagues, to my staff and to my family for letting every one of them down. More importantly, Mr Speaker, I apologise to you and to the Assembly for my behaviour.

Disability services—policy

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (10.33): I move:

That the Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the importance of moving young people out of nursing homes and into more appropriate accommodation; and

(b) the need for appropriate services and infrastructure for people with disabilities and delays in their development; and

(2) recognises the commitment of the Stanhope Labor government to maintaining services for these people.

Imagine being 20 years old and surrounded by the aged and dying every single day. That is the heartbreaking fate of thousands of young people across Australia. Every day a young Australian with high-care needs is placed in an aged care nursing home. Across the nation there are more than 6,000 young people with disabilities that are forced to live in aged care homes. If this continues, it is estimated that by 2007 the number of young people in nursing homes will rise to 10,000.

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