Page 5327 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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of facility we are looking to develop here in the ACT, and to take my first ride on a European-produced electric bus. Masdar City is a quite fascinating city or concept, a city of 30,000, including people travelling to Masdar to work, with a plan for the city to be constructed as carbon neutral. It is a quite stunning concept.

Since my return, I have indicated my intention to look seriously at converting a proportion of our government car fleet to electric.

I also did visit in Abu Dhabi the forensic evidence department of the Abu Dhabi Police, who are looking to forge closer relations with the University of Canberra and its forensic department. A relationship that has attracted Abu Dhabi to the UC is UC’s relationship with the AFP. I will just conclude on the point that the AFP’s reputation in the Middle East is incredibly strong and it is a great credit to Australia.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice


Gungahlin Regional Community Service

MS BURCH: I said I would come back with some information. Yesterday, Ms Bresnan asked for information around community housing providers and said that the previous minister had referred in committee hearings to a figure of $245,000. My response is that I am not aware of the former minister claiming that an amount of the magnitude of $245,000 was available. There has been some money set aside in previous years under the former commonwealth-state housing agreement for accreditation of community housing providers. That money is still available and will be used to pay the accrediting agency to assist providers as needed.

I would like to make it clear that accreditation against the national community housing standards is separate from the process for registration under the regulatory framework for not-for-profit housing providers. In 2006, Housing ACT entered into an agreement with New South Wales Housing to allow their New South Wales Housing community housing standards and accreditation group to accredit ACT community housing providers. The estimated cost was $8,000 per provider.

Since that time the New South Wales government has decided to outsource accreditation. Therefore, the ACT will also tender for an accreditation provider before the end of this calendar year. Costs may, therefore, vary from the $8,000 quoted in 2006. However, Housing ACT is still intending to meet the reasonable cost of providers, and providers have been working towards accreditation since at least 2006.

Mrs Dunne asked a question about the impact of reduced funding for the Gungahlin Regional Community Service disability program. My response to Mrs Dunne is that the funding outlined in the correspondence sent out by the Gungahlin Regional Community Service could have been clearer, as it could have implied that the ACT government was cutting funding. That is not the case.

The Gungahlin Regional Community Service letter refers to three funding sources. The first is a youth link program. This relates to a funding initiative between the

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