Page 296 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: It was, Mr Hanson, because there is no other way to build the hospital. What it meant—and I do not know what you do not understand about this—is that the old maternity hospital moved into the new hospital, and in order to have the whole hospital built, the old maternity hospital had to be essentially destroyed, which it has been now. It is a vacant block. So we then move to the second stage of the building. It could not have been delivered any other way whilst maintaining continuity of service. That is the way hospitals on brownfield development sites are done. It was always the intention that there would be about a 12-month period of construction of stage 2.

Disability services—housing

MS BERRY: My question is to the minister for disability. Can the minister inform the Assembly what new and innovative models of disability accommodation are underway in the ACT and what support is the government providing to establish these models?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her question. The ACT government believes that people living with a disability should have every chance to achieve their full potential as valued and equal members of our community. Since 2001, funding for the disability sector has more than doubled, and the ACT Labor government will now invest a further $15 million to increase support for people with a disability, their families and carers.

The cornerstone of this investment is the creation of innovative accommodation models for people with a disability. On 13 September this year I was delighted to announce, jointly with prominent Canberra businessman Mr Glenn Keys, a new model called Project Independence. This will offer unique accommodation for people with a disability in the ACT.

The project will construct three specially designed Canberra share houses at a cost of $3 million. This unique social housing model will allow people with an intellectual disability and low support needs to purchase equity in their homes. The project will achieve individualised support chosen by the people who live there. Land has been identified in Harrison, Latham and Phillip as possible sites for Project Independence.

Disability ACT and Housing ACT are working with Project Independence around the planning, design, governance and service model. Project Independence builds on features that underpin the national disability insurance scheme by extending greater levels of support for people with a disability and their families.

Labor is also putting in place more accommodation for people with a disability that we announced during the election. We will build and service two six-bedroom houses that provide accommodation for disability tenants with relatively low support needs, a project that has a value of around $3 million.

We will begin replacing Canberra’s disability respite properties, a very worthwhile investment of around $4 million. The first two sites—one for adults and one for

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