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Wednesday, 9 October 1985
Page: 1723


Mr HOWE (Minister for Social Security)(5.52) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I foreshadowed this Bill in my second reading speech on the Home and Community Care Bill 1985. As I explained in that speech, the Home and Community Care (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1985 amends four existing Commonwealth Acts. The four Acts are: The Delivered Meals Subsidy Act 1970, the Home Nursing Subsidy Act 1956, the States Grants (Home Care) Act 1969 and the States Grants (Para- medical Services) Act 1969.

The Bill aims to ensure that the transition from funding under those Acts to the home and community care program is as smooth as possible. For an explanation of the program, I refer honourable members to my second reading speech on the Home and Community Care Bill 1985. The Bill provides that the four Acts cease to apply in the States which sign the home and community care agreement. Services previously funded under the four Acts will then be funded under the home and community care program.

The Bill also provides that in States which have not yet agreed to participate in the program, financial assistance under the four existing Acts will continue to be provided in respect of existing services at a level sufficient to enable those services to be maintained at their 1984-85 activity level. No new services or expansions to existing services will be approved. Funds for this purpose are available only under the home and community care program. The amendments contained in the Bill are designed both to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, and as an indication of the Commonwealth's commitment to the home and community care program and to working co-operatively with participating States. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Carlton) adjourned.