Page 4536 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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MR SESELJA: Minister, why is the directorate operating under placement policies and procedures that are seven years old and which do not reflect current practice?

MS BURCH: As I have said, the community directorate has ongoing review of its policies and procedures. Certainly I am aware that that is an ongoing and an updated process. I do not have the policy manuals in front of me. I have instructed the directorate to give the most recent copy of the policies and procedures in their whole—whatever is there available—to the Public Advocate.

Older Persons Assembly

MR HARGREAVES: This is the last question for the day, I would hope. I have a question for the Minister for Community Services regarding the old persons assembly—the Older Persons Assembly. I am just used to saying “old persons”, Mr Speaker, and I am talking about myself, so I apologise. The Older Persons Assembly was held on 30 September. A number of us attended and I believe it was a great success. But not all of the members of the Assembly actually attended. Minister, this Assembly actually celebrated the contribution of older people to the community. Did you know that it is the 60th birthday of Ray Blundell, otherwise known as Tinkerbell to some in this Assembly, today, and could you please let us know the details of the Older Persons Assembly and what came out of it?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. The answer to the first part is no, but can I wish Ray, wherever he is—and he always has his eyes and ears on us—a happy birthday for 60 years.

In response to the second part of the question, the Older Persons Assembly commenced with a welcome to country by Ngunnawal elder Agnes Shea and was followed by a very entertaining speech from the keynote speaker, Mr Bryce Courtenay. I do recall that there were a number of MLAs that were here and they were lining up to get his signature on various parts of his novel. He was a non-traditional keynote speaker, you could proudly say. I am still waiting for a member to repeat his act here in the Assembly. But we may wait some time for that.

Delegates then had the opportunity to participate in a solution-focused discussion through committee hearings. The hearings were based around the key themes of a strategic plan for positive ageing: information and communication; health and wellbeing; respect, valuing and safety, housing and accommodation; support services; transport and mobility; and work and retirement.

Delegates discussed innovations and ideas and they were assigned to particular committees. The committees were supported and chaired by a member of the ACT ministerial advisory council. Three or four of the key priorities were identified from each hearing and reported back to all delegates as a motion in the Assembly chamber. Delegates voted on the motions through a ballot paper.

The results of the voting have been compiled. The six priorities for the sessions, in order of preference that the government should give consideration to, were: a

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