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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 2017) . . Page.. 4064 ..

We talked at some length yesterday in the chamber about social inclusion and the barriers to participation. The potential lack of access to respite care is certainly a major barrier to participation for families like the McCarthys. I had a look at the NDIS information available and I found a fact sheet about what family support is funded by the scheme. Possibly I did not understand it but I could not find respite care mentioned in it. So I sympathise very much with the comments that Ms Lee made about the difficulty of negotiating the NDIS system. It must be incredibly hard for those for whom English is not their first language or for whose carers and advocates English is not their first language.

This is clearly a heart-rending issue for the community, and I assume that for the ACT government it is a potential budget-rending issue. It would appear that it is an issue for the ACT government in terms of what the costs for the ACT government will be if they end up taking on full-time care of anyone, presumably through the child protection system, because there is not respite care. So, apart from the community’s and the Assembly’s compassion and desire to ensure that everyone in Canberra is appropriately looked after, it is something that the ACT government needs to look at just from a hard-headed financial point of view.

I was very pleased to hear the minister acknowledge that there are challenges and say that she is actively seeking a remedy for the major problems with reasonable pricing of the provision of short-term accommodation, otherwise known as respite care. I can say from practical experience with older relatives that respite care was one of the things that enabled us to keep my mother at home for as long as we did. Without that, it could not have happened, particularly in the circumstances we were in where there was not actually any full-time care available.

I applaud the ACT government’s and the minister’s efforts to ensure that the current problems with the NDIS are worked out. I trust that these efforts will be successful so that Canberrans with a disability and their carers are adequately supported. I look forward to more positive updates on this subject.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2017

Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.56): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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