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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 August 2016) . . Page.. 2533 ..


Canberra seniors need a government that will create a better transport system and a better health system and a government that not only understands the needs of the ageing community but has the vision to make things happen.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Multicultural and Youth Affairs, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (7.47): The 2016 budget invests across the government’s broad social inclusion agenda and right across the community sector. There is a deep commitment to social inclusion through the government’s new investments and, importantly, in the initiatives they will deliver on the ground. I draw particular attention to our funding for services provided by some of the great local organisations here in the ACT. This budget makes it clear how we value their work, in particular through indexed funding for community services programs, which has risen above $10 million; grants provided through housing and community services which total around $624,000; our ongoing commitment to pay equity for social and community services workers, a payment of more than $3 million in 2016-17; and a continued commitment to reform in our service systems by bringing the better services principles to other parts of the system.

Of course, one of the most prominent parts of the budget for me as the minister for women and community services is our family violence response. It is not just about significant investment; it is about learning from extensive research to develop systems that work across government and with the community to provide support where it is needed when it is needed. The capacity of front-line services is boosted with an additional $416,000 over four years allocated to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and an additional $830,000 over four years to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service. Separately, $964,000 over three years is funding residential behaviour programs for men at risk of committing domestic or family violence, called room4change.

With a total of $21.4 million over four years, this response measures up to the scale of the problem facing our community. It responds to three major reports on domestic, family and sexual violence in the ACT as well as Victoria’s royal commission. I have been having conversations as the minister for women and community services with the community services sector, and those conversations will continue to inform the way these responses are implemented. The government’s investments in community services and social inclusion are made possible by the government’s broader economic management, and I thank the community sector for their positive response to the way the government has put this budget together.

The budget papers also lay out the government’s ongoing commitments to multiculturalism in Canberra and to refugee and asylum seeker support. We will continue to implement the actions under the ACT multicultural framework 2015-20. These include support for booking and using community facilities and ongoing support for translation and English language training. The government is providing a total of more than $245,000 to the Community Language Schools Association and its 42 member schools. A total of $260,000 will also be available in the 2016-17 participation multicultural grants.


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