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Monday, 27 September 1999
Page: 8966


Senator HERRON (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) (8:23 PM) —Senator West had a general spray against the government, the department, the minister and, I think, some nursing home owners; I do not know whom she left out. But she did raise one legitimate issue, in relation to a resident with a low value house whose total assets are less than $23,500. A resident with a low value house whose total assets are less than $23,500 cannot be asked to pay an accommodation charge but does not qualify for the concessional resident supplement to be paid. The issue of low value homes is of great concern in rural areas, and the minister has consulted with stakeholders and held meetings with Ms Sue Irvine and Mr John Ireland on this issue. The minister today amended the definition of `home owner' to ensure that residents with homes and assets valued at less than $23,500 can qualify as concessional residents.