Page 4958 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009
support them and that we make sure that kinship carers, and indeed anyone caring for our vulnerable children, are aware of their entitlements and other support structures that they are free to access.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?
MRS DUNNE: Minister, how will you be providing assistance to kinship carers, especially grandparents, who are often old age pensioners? You have talked about committees and organisations, but what practical assistance will be given?
MS BURCH: Thank you for the question. The information that I can say is that carers are eligible to access payments in addition to weekly subsidies that are approved and part of a care plan, such as childcare and school holiday programs. In 2009, the standard foster and kinship subsidy for 12 and 14-year-olds was close to $200 and $587 for the same aged children in special foster care. This subsidy is non-taxable and is increased annually. The out-of-home care framework for 2009-12 provides for an increase in subsidy payments for all carers, and includes prepayment of a number of items currently claimed as contingencies. This framework is implemented now and follows requests from the submission process. That demonstrates that we are, indeed, talking with the sector and responding to their concerns.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?
MR COE: Minister, what programs are in place to reduce the number of children in the care of the chief executive?
MS BURCH: We provide a range of services that support children in care, whether it is through foster care or kinship group arrangements. There are also processes and programs for those vulnerable who could be exposed to risk of homelessness and family violence. I am quite happy, given that you consider this portfolio to be a light load and maybe you have paid no attention to it, to provide a full list of programs.
MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Chief Minister and concerns the LDA’s joint venture in Crace. Minister, the terrace houses there are being sold under community title. What are the issues with this, which is an unusual form of land title for the ACT, and is it to save TAMS the long-term costs of maintenance of what would otherwise be public spaces?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. It certainly is the case that community title is not all that common, although I believe just in recent times there are a number of developments now where the option or possibility of community title is being pursued by developers.
Ms Le Couteur, to allay your concerns about this being some sort of government push or policy, my understanding is that the decision to develop or pursue community title in Crace—and I believe it is being pursued by other developers in other places as well—has not been initiated by the government, by TAMS or, indeed, by ACTPLA or