Page 3363 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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I remind people of those community providers that we have in town. I think it is very wrong to infer that because the service will go to the private sector the quality will be poor. These are the community providers that are providing services now: Marymead, Hartley and Tandem. If anyone can stand in this place to say those services do not do well by our community, then I ask them to do that. I think you will find that flies in the face of the respect and regard those services have in this community.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to support and help innovate respite services across the territory?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. It is indeed important that we make sure that, as we transition to DisabilityCare, which is about choice and control for people with a disability in Canberra, we look to how those services are provided. I stood here yesterday and provided an update. It must be understood that service provision in this community between now and full rollout in 2019 will look different. It is rather naive to say that it will not look different from what it is now. That is over six years. Are you itchy there, Mr Doszpot?

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Minister Burch! You will address the chair, not Mr Doszpot.

MS BURCH: It is a little game being played over there.

MADAM SPEAKER: It does not matter whether there is a little game being played or not. You address the chair, not Mr Doszpot.

MS BURCH: Through you, then, Madam Chair, I just hope that his itchy ears settle down. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MS BURCH: I will go back to Mr Gentleman’s question and say that it is important that we prepare for the change. As I have said, if we can stand here and say that there will not be changes to any service provision over the next six years, that is quite naive. I have made the decision, through Disability ACT, that we will close one of those adult respite units. That is a sound decision and it reflects the declining use of those services. We have also said that we will work with the community about what that transition and implementation will look like.

We have also made a commitment in the most recent budget to look at some renovation and reconfiguration of the respite centres. I think I have said through estimates that I have an interest in focusing on Kese in the first instance, because those that have been to Kese would understand that it is certainly not purpose built. I think that we as a community can offer better to our kids in respite.

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