Page 1965 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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MR GENTLEMAN: I do not think that the budget is, in my portfolio, in that sense. However, I think this budget is fantastic for the ACT. It sees some fantastic infrastructure spend across the city. It will encourage jobs. It is a great budget for the territory.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, is the government trying to force lower income Canberrans out of their cars through constant increases in parking fees and motor vehicle registration?

MR GENTLEMAN: Certainly not.

Budget—social inclusion

DR BOURKE: My question is to the minister for social inclusion and equality. Minister, how does the 2015-16 budget support the inclusion of Canberrans and progress the government’s social inclusion agenda?

MADAM SPEAKER: I call the minister for social inclusion, Minister Berry.

MS BERRY: I am the minister assisting, but I will take the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: I was just following Dr Bourke’s lead.

MS BERRY: That is okay; it was just to make it clear. I thank Dr Bourke for asking the question. Social inclusion lies at the heart of this year’s budget. It is an honour to be the minister assisting the Chief Minister. In the first year we are offering a specific budget overview of the work we do to build a more inclusive and a more equal city.

We know that all Canberrans need support sometimes. This is why this budget continues to invest in core services, such as education and health care, to make sure all Canberrans have access to the high quality services which form the foundations of a healthy and happy life in our community.

But for those Canberrans who sometimes need a helping hand, we have looked carefully at where we can target initiatives to make sure that they are included and better supported. These initiatives include the $159 million committed to build better quality homes for Canberra’s public housing tenants; $107 million in recurrent funding for disability and therapy services; $40 million to better support kids in care through the step up for our kids program; $1.2 million to continue better services initiatives to make sure that Canberrans are getting the right support, at the right time, for as long as they need it; $2.5 million for the Bendora through-care unit to help young people leaving detention to reconnect with their communities; and $3 million for homelessness services, matching the commonwealth funding under the national partnership.

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