Page 5549 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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MS BURCH: There was no ignoring of anything. We continued to work through the out-of-home care sector for a range of places. You are referring to a number of places through NBSS, forgetting that through that period there were places made in other organisations. In the places where we used NBSS we also worked with an oversight agency, a recognised out-of-home care organisation, to provide oversight. So we did not do nothing. We did as we ought, and that is to strengthen the oversight to those organisations.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, how many times must your directorate place children with an organisation that does not hold an authorisation as a suitable entity before it takes action to ensure that authorisations are given?

MS BURCH: We work with the out-of-home care sector. We have used NBSS; we are not denying that. But we also have produced evidence that those opposite refuse to believe. They refuse to believe the opinion and determination of the Solicitor-General that the director-general can place—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MS BURCH: That is just an absurdity from Mrs Dunne. They can place in alternative arrangements when there is no out-of-home care provider available.

Housing—supported accommodation

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and concerns housing for people with disabilities. Minister, one of the problems with measuring unmet demand is that the government does not keep a waiting list for people with disabilities and mental illness requiring supported accommodation. Minister, how does the government measure this unmet demand, and what are the current levels?

MS BURCH: I think from your question you are implying that we do not have a gauge on the numbers of people that would be seeking group accommodation or accommodation. I know that we do, because I am in conversation with families and the directorate about their accommodation needs. So to imply that we do not have any understanding or awareness of any people that are seeking accommodation I do not think—

Ms Bresnan: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

Ms Bresnan: I was not intimating what the minister suggested. My question was: how does the government measure unmet demand, and what are the current levels?

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