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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2103

(Question No. 808)


Senator Peter Baume asked the Minister for Social Security , upon notice, on 4 April 1984:

(1) Is the policy in relation to the funding of residential accommodation for intellectually handicapped adults, which precludes the building of residential accommodation at or close to activity training centres or sheltered workshops, a relative or an absolute prohibition.

(2) Is funding always withheld for building of residential facilities for handicapped people where the only available ground for building residential accommodation is located next to their place of work.

(3) Does the Minister for Social Security accept that there are circumstances where the only available land for building residential accommodation is situated next to sheltered workshops or activity training centres, and that there may be no alternative site available for the housing of some handicapped people.


Senator Grimes —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Government's funding guidelines oppose the clustering of services for handicapped people. However, this policy, although firm cannot be called an absolute prohibition. The guidelines retain the flexibility to respond to individual needs of handicapped people by providing services most appropriate to those needs.

(2) Location of two or more services for disabled people on the same site or within the same vicinity, will not attract government funding unless clustering of services clearly addresses the individual needs of disabled people better than the separation of services.

(3) No. As a general rule, I believe that where residential accommodation is established for handicapped people, it should be located within a community residential setting. In this respect, the use of existing housing stock is usually most suitable for people with intellectual handicaps as little or no modification is required. This would be a far more preferable option than using land next to the place where these people work.