Page 2690 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

Safety is currently working on a review of the first five years of operation of the Human Rights Act. The review will consider the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights in the act and the success or otherwise of the implementation of a bill of rights in the ACT. The review process will include consultation with stakeholders and the public.

In Canberra, recognition of the needs of those in our community with a disability is in keeping with world standards. The ACT supported Australia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in July 2008. With this support the ACT has joined with others around the world in a global effort to promote the equal and active participation of all people with a disability.

This further enhances ACT Labor’s strong record in disability services. For the period 2003-04 to 2009-10, Disability ACT has delivered significant increases in the levels of support available for people with a disability and their families. Accommodation and support places have increased by 31 per cent; community support hours have increased by 55 per cent; community access hours have increased by 70 per cent; respite bed nights have increased by 11 per cent; and flexible respite hours have increased by 96 per cent.

The 2008-09 budget introduced the ACT Indigenous traineeship pilot program. Following the successful placement of 11 trainees into full-time permanent employment in the ACT public service, funding over three years in 2009-10 provides opportunities for 15 Indigenous young people to commence traineeships annually.

Access to affordable and appropriate housing is a basic right, and this government has made upholding that right one of its highest priorities. I established the Affordable Housing Steering Group to advise me on real and practical ways in which the government could help increase the supply of affordable housing. Since the release of the affordable housing plan in 2007, implemented actions have included releasing more land to ease demand; working towards a streamlined planning system; enhancing stamp duty concessions for first home buyers; introducing the land rent scheme; and supporting CHC Affordable Housing to deliver 1,000 new properties for sale or rent over the next 10 years.

There are currently 46 homelessness programs operating in the ACT, and in 2009-10 the ACT and Australian governments are funding a range of new programs to address homelessness. This includes additional properties; new service delivery models; short-term accommodation, including emergency accommodation for those escaping domestic violence; and support for those with complex needs, including mental illness and substance abuse. The Men’s Accommodation and Support Service program has also been extended to provide support and managed supported accommodation for people exiting the Alexander Maconochie Centre and related criminal justice programs.

The social housing component of the nation building and jobs plan will further add to the ACT’s efforts in housing and homelessness and will return 243 dwellings to the social housing stock in the ACT by funding their refurbishment. A further 57 new social housing properties are scheduled to commence construction this month. Not

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .