Page 3037 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

The secondary bursary payment has also been increased from $500 to $700.50 a year, at a cost of more than $550,000 over the four years, and provides greater financial support to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. A single payment for the secondary bursary stream was introduced for the 2013 school year to assist families with the expenses that occur at the start of each school year.

Almost 4,000 more ACT residents will get low-cost dental care under the public dental scheme. Commonwealth funding of $5.5 million for our public dental scheme will reduce public dental waiting lists, and the ACT government will honour our election commitment with $1.7 million for a fully equipped mobile dental care van. This will enable dental services to be provided to people who find it difficult to access dental care, such as nursing home residents.

A final area of progress under the targeted assistance strategy goes to parking and traffic infringements. In May this year, a new scheme commenced which allows people in financial hardship greater flexibility in the way they pay their parking and traffic infringements. Historically an inability to pay a parking or traffic infringement notice resulted in a further financial penalty or loss of licence. This has a major impact on a person and often prevents them working.

The new scheme allows members of the community to apply for infringement notice management plans which allow payments by instalment, community work and social development programs. I am pleased to say that in just over two months of operation we have seen 613 applications approved for clients seeking to enter payment plans to acquit infringement notice penalties, and these clients have a combined total of 4,395 infringement notices valued at just over $1 million and have so far paid back $25,141 through the payment plans.

Beyond the targeted assistance strategy, other vital budget measures are targeting needs in the Canberra community. The importance of these items is another demonstration of the recklessness of the opposition in motions like they brought yesterday to threaten the passage of the appropriation bill.

In community care, the government has responded to higher demand, particularly in women’s and children’s services, with additional funding in 2013-14. This will allow more community-based care services at community health centres and in people’s homes.

In health, outpatient services across the board are being increased—in cancer treatment, mental health, alcohol and drug consultations and elsewhere. And walk-in centres will open in Belconnen and Tuggeranong.

In disability care, we have prepared the ACT to lead the rollout of DisabilityCare Australia. For the first time, people with disabilities and their families can be confident they will be provided with reasonable and necessary care and support for their daily living needs. They will have greater choice and control over the support and services they can receive and who provides them. By July 2016, all ACT residents with significant and permanent disability, that is, around 5,000 people, will be covered by the scheme.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video