Page 2031 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 May 2009

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The document goes go on to say:

Currently, there are no obvious policy supports in place to facilitate this process. The lack of a framework often results in an inconsistent approach to the planning and outcomes for the individuals.

But there is still no plan for the three individuals waiting on support to go on with their lives at home.

I know that the minister will today draw our attention to the $3 million funding initiative over four years that was announced yesterday as part of the budget. At first blush, this does seem to indicate a light at the end of the tunnel for these individuals, but time will tell.

I initially intended not to single out any individual case with this motion, but events of today leave me with a serious concern about what a departmental briefing really means. I have been under the impression that the second briefing I received from the department about the specific individual on 2 April this year was a full briefing; but, after a number of discussions with Minister Hargreaves and his adviser today, I am told that was not the case.

Mr Speaker, this leaves some very serious issues for all of us to consider regarding our expectations about information that we are given and the reality of what actually occurs. When is a briefing not a full briefing, and why? There are already serious questions that need to be answered about how the current situation with regard to this patient has been left to go on for so long—nearly two years. I have been trying to get some answers on this individual’s situation since December last year. I have had a briefing, but it must be said that I felt as though I knew more about her situation than the officials did. That prompted me to ask for an urgent reassessment of her by Disability ACT or ACT Health, which I believe was finally carried out about a week or a week and a half ago.

The system has failed this patient. The government and the minister have sat on their hands and left her in the too hard basket. Despite her improved physical condition, which would appear to significantly reduce the assistance required, it appears that until recently the government was still under the assumption that her case was too complicated and costly to address. I personally have written to the minister for disability on this issue since January, seeking a meeting with him directly. But only this week, and only after a motion had been put on notice, have I been able to get the minister’s attention.

I draw your attention to this and I seek your support of the motion. I also seek leave to move an amendment to the motion.

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

Mr Hargreaves: Reluctantly. You should have circulated it by now, sir. That is the protocol, and you should have done it. This is the last time.

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