Page 3154 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017

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In Canberra a significant proportion of the community will experience or know someone who will experience mental illness at some time throughout their lives. We can all play a role in reducing the stigma around mental illness by encouraging those around us to seek help when they need it. There is no shame in asking for help when we need it. This is something I want to be very clear about. It is a message that I think has started to become understood in our community. I am encouraged by the breakdown of stigma around mental health, but there is also no doubt that we have some distance to go.

The ACT government recognises the impact that mental illness can have on people in our community. That is why we have created a dedicated ministerial portfolio for mental health and are in the process of establishing an office of mental health and developing new strategies for suicide reduction. I believe that the investments I have outlined today that are contained in this budget are part of the ACT government’s commitment to looking after the mental health and wellbeing of Canberrans. I believe that these investments will make a difference and I look forward to continuing to work with clinicians, the staff of ACT Health, those who work in the community sector and those in the community who are living with a mental health condition to continue to improve our services here in the territory so that we can provide the best possible environment for people to deal with their mental health concerns.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Housing ACT—Part 1.12.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (5.55): The government continues to deliver on the biggest program of renewal of our city’s public housing since self-government. The 2017-18 ACT budget includes new commitments of more than $31 million in 2017-18 and more than $25 million over the years to 2019-20 to continue the public housing renewal program.

Coupled with forward estimates from previous years, there is a commitment of more than $200 million in 2017-18 and more than $90 million over the years 2019-20. It builds on the allocations in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budgets for the public housing renewal program. Overall this brings our total investment in this program to more than $600 million. This significant contribution is a clear signal of the importance this government has placed on delivering the renewal of public housing.

The 2017-18 budget includes continued funding for the public housing renewal task force. This ensures dedicated resources are provided for the public housing renewal program and the improvement of the public housing portfolio. The funding approved in the 2017-18 budget supports the redevelopment and replacement of Gowrie Court in Narrabundah, allowing us to continue to provide new and better public housing properties in locations throughout Canberra. The amount also covers additional design and development costs for some replacement public housing sites in Taylor and the

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