Page 1573 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 31 March 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MS GALLAGHER: Treasurer, what is the latest estimate of the budget outcome for 2008-09?

MS GALLAGHER: That information will be provided to the Assembly on 5 May.

Hospitals—dischargeable patients

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Disability and Housing and is in regard to the fate of dischargeable patients in hospital or other inappropriate facilities. Given that the wellbeing of such patients is severely and unreasonably compromised due to their circumstances, can the minister advise the Assembly of the action he has taken to break down the silos between services in the ACT and the plans he has in place to ensure that these patients are provided with appropriate, cost-effective support in a timely manner?

MR HARGREAVES: Firstly, I reject the notion that these people are in hospital at their detriment. They would not be. That is a nonsensical suggestion if ever I have heard one. They are in hospital because they need to be in a medically safe facility, and that is where they are. When it comes to breaking down silos, Ms Bresnan would love to be able to run around the place and identify these silos, but she cannot because they do not exist.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister please table in the Assembly the February 2008 review of disability services in the ACT and provide a time line for when a whole-of-government disability strategy will be delivered.

MR HARGREAVES: I will have to get the information and see whether it is in a form which is suitable for tabling and then examine it. I do not propose, however, to go and dig up whole-of-government plans and all those sorts of things inside 15 minutes. I will have a look at the information Ms Bresnan wants and, if it is available in a form suitable for tabling, I will do so.


MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, according to the Chief Minister, the ACT faces a doubling in the level of unemployment over the next 18 months, to at least five per cent. Treasurer, what effect will this level of unemployment have on the ACT economy?

MS GALLAGHER: The forecast projections for unemployment are concerning. With respect to the ones that Access Economics have released, and which our Treasury support—although they do not support their going as high as Access Economics predicts—certainly there will be an increase in our unemployment rate in the territory. We are currently at 2.4 per cent unemployment, which is extremely low,

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