Page 714 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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child are now at the point where they can no longer do that. I have a very close family member from my previous marriage who is profoundly disabled. I have seen at first hand the impact of that on a family and what it means. We need to make sure that as a society we do as much as we can to give those carers as much power, as much individual scope, as possible to choose the right pathway for those people with a disability, be it the carers or be it the individuals.

I hope that provides the Chief Minister and members with some clarity as to where the opposition stands. It is not a blank cheque, but we certainly want to see the outcome that the government does—and I imagine the Greens do, and the whole society. That is that the people who need caring for in our society the most—disabled people—are provided with the support that we should be providing them with and that they feel empowered as individuals.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 29 November 2012, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.39): The bill before us today I understand was previously presented in the Seventh Assembly by Dr Bourke and has only been changed slightly before being presented in this current Assembly by the minister. I say from the outset that the opposition will support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2) and the changes that it makes to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008.

I have only held the shadow responsibility for Indigenous affairs for the last few months, but I am taking great delight in speaking with various members of the local Indigenous community and hearing and learning about their histories, their culture and their values. Through this I am gaining a better understanding of some of the challenges our local Indigenous community face.

Despite there being substantial funds targeted at programs specifically for Indigenous people in the ACT, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples residing in the ACT continue to be overrepresented on the negative side of the health, education and corrections statistics, not to mention the difficulties that are often faced in seeking housing or accessing employment. I suggest the reason our Indigenous community is all too often overrepresented in these figures is as a result of generational poverty and not necessarily race.

I was pleased to learn in the course of discussions with stakeholders that the ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has an elected body. I was further pleased to hear that in the four years it has been in operation the body has been responsible for a number of significant pieces of work. This includes the justice agreement, which is

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