Page 1628 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 July 2020

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examples, including the increased provision of supported accommodation, new models of care, and the provision of the PACER service, which is proving to be extremely effective in keeping people out of the crisis system and actually treating them in a place where they feel more comfortable, which for many people is at home.

I anticipate seeing improvements in these numbers. Putting an emphasis on community–based care, which is what we do in the ACT, does mean that when those acute patients come into our adult mental health unit—the most difficult cases, the most acute cases—you would probably find that, compared to other jurisdictions, the ACT’s acuity of those coming into inpatient mental health care is higher than others.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, does the inadequate capacity of our inpatient mental healthcare services impact on patient outcomes and, if so, when will we finally see an improvement on the data such as was released by the AIHW?

MR RATTENBURY: The government is increasing the capacity of the inpatient mental health units. As Mrs Dunne has been briefed in the hearings of the committee, the ACT government recently commissioned an additional five beds in Calvary and we continue to make a range of other particular accommodation increases and service changes. I believe these measures will lead to improvements in the data.

Government—community support

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and Facilities. Minister, did the ACT government make use of vacant community facilities during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic?

MS ORR: I thank Ms Cody for the question. The ACT government continues to make use of properties and venues which are not able to be used for purposes that they are usually used for. Exhibition Park in Canberra, commonly referred to as EPIC, is an excellent example. Where large events were no longer possible, the ACT government quickly set up the drive-through COVID-19 testing facility. We have also set up the Canberra Relief Network in one of the otherwise unused pavilions.

As part of our economic survival package, the ACT government has undertaken a $35 million fast-track program which is fast-tracking a range of upgrade and maintenance infrastructure projects across Canberra, as well as supporting local jobs and businesses. The ACT government has completed several fast-track projects on several of our community facilities as part of the program.

Works included the construction of a community-inclusive garden space within Ms Cody’s electorate, at the Pearce Community Centre; the installation of solar PV across a range of our community facilities; and disability access improvements to the Griffith Community Centre, the Belconnen Community Centre, the Weston Community Hub, the Woden Community Centre and the Grant Cameron Community Centre. These access improvements have provided real benefits to Canberrans living with disability and help make our city even more inclusive for all members of our community. As some of our community groups are beginning to reconvene, where it

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