Page 2997 - Week 07 - Thursday, 7 June 2012

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The ACT has been working collaboratively with the Commonwealth to establish support arrangements for asylum seekers awaiting residence determination in our community, particularly in relation to health (including mental health) services and education. Key considerations throughout this process have been to ensure that asylum seekers have the requisite support to live successfully in the community, that service providers and residents are not significantly impacted and that the ACT is fairly compensated by the Commonwealth for the services it provides. The Commonwealth provides a number of services, including housing, to asylum seekers through its own contracted service providers.

4. The average level of expenditure provided, by individual, by the ACT Government to assist asylum seekers is not readily available.

The ACT Government developed the ACT Services Access Card Pilot Program to assist asylum seekers to gain smooth access to government services to which they are entitled. The Card is administered by Companion House on behalf of the ACT Government.

5. The ACT Government does not provide funding for community based accommodation support for asylum seekers. Housing ACT provides properties to the Refugee Transitional Housing Program. Allocation of properties under this program is at the discretion of the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service Inc, which operate the program.

Community Services Directorate—interpreting services
(Question No 2313)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Community Services, upon notice, on 3 May 2012 (redirected to the Minister for the Multicultural Affairs):

(1) How many full time equivalent staff (FTE) are employed within the Community Services Directorate to provide or act as (a) interpreters and (b) support services for people from a non English Speaking background (ESB).

(2) What are the staff classification levels for staff engaged in these activities.

(3) What are the per annum costs of providing these services, broken down by staffing costs and operational costs.

(4) Could the Minister provide details of the services offered to people from a NESB.

(5) What is the annualised funding provided by the Directorate to non-government organisations to provide or act as (a) interpreters and (b) support services for people from a NESB.

(6) What is the funding level broken down by non-government organisation to undertake these activities and where are they located in the ACT.

Ms Burch: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

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