Page 4564 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 18 October 2011

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is saying. So what if there is not another system in place in Australia that meets these high standards? We are a human rights compliant place. We do pride ourselves on being progressive and having high standards of service provision. We should be aiming high. Let us not just take the mediocre road.

I am sure that, as something like 180 recommendations were agreed with, there is a lot of work going on. I look forward to sitting down and putting more time into analysing the response to the Human Rights Commission’s report and seeing what the government has agreed to and I look forward also to further discussions on this issue in this place.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

ACT carers charter

Paper and statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs), by leave: I present the following paper:

Caring for Carers—Charter—Pamphlet.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MS BURCH: Today I have tabled the ACT carers charter. Carers are often family members or friends of people with needs associated with a disability, ageing, ongoing physical or mental illness or substance misuse. Carers can also be approved kinship or foster carers caring for children and young people in care in the care and protection system as well as grandparents caring for their dependent grandchildren. The ACT carers charter recognises the valuable contribution carers make to the fabric of our society, and it is important that I take this opportunity to thank the carers of the ACT for their significant contribution to the community.

The government has recognised this through the ACT government’s caring for carers policy in 2003, which provided a framework to recognise and support the diverse needs of people providing unpaid care and support. Whilst the relevance of this policy has been confirmed, the charter provides a refreshed focus on a clearer and more concise means for publicly expressing the intent of the policy.

Last year the government agreed to recommendations made by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body that would require recognition and support for grandparents providing informal care for children and young people. In March last year the commonwealth government tabled the Carer Recognition Bill to provide recognition and support for carers.

This charter broadens the definition to ensure all caring relationships are included in the charter, including grandparents, aunties and uncles providing informal care, foster

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