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Thursday, 20 November 1986
Page: 2586

Senator HARRADINE(11.51) —I will be brief. My main concern is to hear what will be said at the Committee stage. I do not know whether the Minister for Community Services, Senator Grimes, would prefer me not to give him a rap, to save time. I know that there have been many speeches and interventions recently-not by me, I must add-but I am sure that the Minister, as Manager of Government Business, would probably prefer me not to go to great lengths to recognise the very important work that he has done in this area and the important work that others who have been referred to previously have done. I was not always on the receiving end of Senator Grimes's compassion in the old days in Australian Labor Party conferences and so forth, but I know that he is a man of compassion and that he has a deep understanding of these issues. I know also that he will take on board the matters that have been raised in this debate. They are matters which I will not go over. I have, of course, considered them.

I am interested to hear further discussion on the matter that Senator Peter Baume raised about psychiatric disabilities. I am also interested to hear from Senator Peter Baume how he equates what he has said with the need not to condemn persons with psychiatric disorders to a sense of hopelessness by categorising them as having permanent disabilities. That is a philosophical question, of course, that I think we could probably advance and discuss more appropriately at the Committee stage.

Senator Peter Baume —It is the whole question of stereotyping throughout the area, actually.

Senator HARRADINE —I am sorry, I have two disabilities today: One is a bad back and the other is that I have gone deaf. I do not know why.

Senator Peter Baume —I said that the question of putting names on people goes right across the area of disability. It is one of the problems we have to overcome.

Senator HARRADINE —Certainly. As I said, that is probably more appropriately discussed when we are fine-tuning at the Committee stage. I wish to raise a matter which has been raised during previous discussions-I am not sure by whom-and that is the need for the Department of Community Services and people administering this legislation to understand the special needs of the smaller States and the outlying areas of those States. I see Senator Grimes nodding. He knows what I am talking about. I refer particularly to the north-west coast of our State of Tasmania. There is no need for me to go into that in any detail, but I am interested in hearing his response to those questions. I will be supporting the Disability Services Bill 1986 and the Disability Services (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 1986 and considering the proposed amendments at the Committee stage.