Page 4967 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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MS BURCH: Thank you for that question, and I do have some information around Galilee, as soon as I can find it. Sorry, do forgive me. I mean, I have been minister for this for two days. There has been agreement between Galilee and the department over a number of months and a written exchange of information. Indeed, from September an agreement was reached that the program may, indeed, cease at the end of December, enabling the completion of this calendar year. That decision has come as a result of ongoing communication between Galilee and the government. It is around Galilee being agreeable that the program is not, indeed, meeting the targets, and they have been supportive of the cessation of this program.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?

MR COE: Yes, Mr Speaker. Is there a risk of the withdrawal of funding to any program funded by OCYFS that provides educational support for students at risk?

MS BURCH: The question was around ceasing funding for programs?

Mr Coe: Correct.

MS BURCH: As I have just said on this particular program, which is the only program that I have in front of me for which we are actually ceasing funding, it is in agreement with the service provider, because the service provider has recognised that it has not been meeting its target—it has not been meeting the agreements under the contract. It has agreed, in discussion with the department, to end the program.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what impact would a withdrawal of funding have on the young people that the Galilee day program helps?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. Again, I repeat: it is pleasing that the light-load Liberals over there have an interest in the vulnerable in our community. As to the impact of the cessation of this program, given that we have had ongoing discussions with Galilee and that these children then will be supported and allocated to other support programs and structures, I would imagine that the department sees no disadvantage to these children, because they will be picked up across a range of other programs. As I have indicated to Mr Coe, in their newly found interest, I am quite happy to bring to them and to this group a list of programs available.

Home-based palliative care

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Health and is in regard to home-based palliative care. It has been suggested that the ACT used to have some 15 full-time staff employed to provide home-based palliative care services. The ACT now apparently only has about half that number and staff are no longer hands-on as they act only as a consultancy service. Could you please advise why there has been a reduction in home-based palliative care services and whether it was the ACT government or LCM that made the decision to cut those services?

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