Page 992 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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We also provided $1.25 million to organisations to support carers to help them meet the out-of-pocket expenses of the valuable role they play in the community. The funds were allocated to Regional Community Services, Carers ACT, Anglicare’s Cyclops program for young carers, Tandem and the Mental Health Foundation. These organisations cover carers, foster carers and kinship carers, all of whom are eligible for support through this package. Carers have been able to access petrol vouchers, phone cards, taxi vouchers, bus tickets, equipment to help with their caring role or domestic cleaning services.

The Cyclops service has so far provided support to approximately 12 young carers, and they have said that the carers support fund has been a great opportunity to remove financial barriers that young carers and their families face. In particular, it has assisted young carers with increased access to transport, essential school support, books, uniforms and tuition, essential household items and assistance with the rising cost of utilities.

It is great to see this kind of feedback as it demonstrates the real and practical ways we have been able to help assist those carers in our community who do such an important job every day. Carers ACT have told us that 52 carers have so far shared in $18,122 of grants that have gone towards cab vouchers, fuel cards, bus tickets, whitegoods and school supplies. They say:

The Carers Support Fund has been greatly welcomed by all at Carers ACT as we have been able to meet more carers’ needs and provide respite in areas that had previously been difficult due to the limitations in available brokerage.

The other group we chose to recognise are volunteers, whom we rely on to deliver so many valuable services in our community. In acknowledging the expense they incur through their role, $1.25 million has been provided to Volunteering ACT to distribute to volunteer organisations.

Volunteering ACT has recruited a program manager to handle this new program and their grants opened on 2 February. We have advertised their availability broadly in the community sector and through contact networks. The additional investment in emergency relief and support for our carers and volunteers is part of what this government is seeking to do in addressing justice and equity, and I am pleased to see that the money allocated so far is greatly assisting those in need.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Personal explanation

MR COE (Ginninderra): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: In relation to what, Mr Coe?

MR COE: It is in relation to a comment by the Chief Minister yesterday. I have been misrepresented.

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