Page 3362 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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MS BURCH: I thank Mr Wall for his question. They were informed, it is my understanding, on the 12th. I know contact was made on the 12th. Over 60 families were contacted on the Thursday, and the remaining client base we were aware of were contacted on the Friday. So it is my understanding that staff from Disability ACT have made contact with those families by phone, and that has been followed up by a letter. We have put information out through the Disability ACT website and we have also put information out to the staff that provide services to the broad range of respite services.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, will you be taking up Mike Welsh’s invitation to host a function for you to personally meet with families and consult with them firsthand on the impact that this closure will have?

MS BURCH: I will say to you, as I said to Mr Welsh, that any one of these clients is more than welcome to come to me and I will meet with them and listen to their concerns. The decision has been made about the closure. We have already put back the closure of Elouera by one week to accommodate a booking that was put into there. We have been very clear from the outset that we will now work over the next six months with the users of the service about what is the implementation, how can they be involved, and I have been very clear that I want the clients of these services—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MS BURCH: This is about the broader change to move to community providers across the respite services. I am very clear that I do want the client base to have a role and a say about what that implementation looks like.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what is stopping you from taking initiative for personal communication with these people, and will you now take any personal action with those who are affected by this closure?

MS BURCH: I do not know if Mr Doszpot has any idea really what he is saying. Is he saying I should personally get on the phone and ring 150 people? It is just a nonsense. As I have replied to Mr Wall—

Mr Doszpot: It’s called a meeting with some of the people who are disaffected, Ms Burch. That’s what it means.

MS BURCH: If you could stop interjecting, as I have said to Mr Wall and to anyone, if anyone has a concern with this, I am more than happy to meet with them and talk it through. The decision to close one of the adult services has been made, but there is a bigger picture ahead about the transfer of the service provision of that to community providers.

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