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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Page: 6206

Mrs ELLIOT (Minister for Ageing) (6:06 PM) —I thank the member for raising the very important issue of the large number of young and disabled people in our nursing homes right throughout the country. This has been an issue that this government has acted upon since we came into government 18 months ago. It is an issue of concern particularly for the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and also for the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services. They have certainly been working very hard at finding other means of moving a lot of our young and disabled people out of nursing homes and into other community settings. It is an issue that I know both of them have raised at many federal and state forums that have been held. It is one that we will continue to work on because you are absolutely right. In terms of young and disabled people we are looking at initiatives to have them in community based settings, and in particular not being in our residential care facilities which predominantly cater for frail older Australians. That is something that we have got a very strong commitment to work towards and I commend the parliamentary secretary for disabilities and the minister for families and community services for their very strong commitment in this particular area.