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Monday, 18 October 2010
Page: 595

Ms HALL (12:47 PM) —I commence my contribution to this debate by acknowledging previous speakers and the work of the member for Pearce in putting this motion before the House. The member for Pearce is committed to carers. I also acknowledge that the member for Gilmore has made many contributions in this area and in the wider area of disability.

This is a very important motion. It deals with the work of carers and acknowledges the enormous contribution they have made to our community. It also highlights the fact that ageing parents who have profoundly disabled children constantly worry about their future and have great concern for what will happen to their children once they themselves are no longer here. It goes on to recognise how deeply concerned they are about their capacity as they age to look after their children. I believe most members of this parliament would have had parents visit them to express their deep concern for their children when they are no longer here.

Families with children who have disabilities face special challenges. One of those challenges is how children will be cared for when the parents are no longer here. The 2006 legislation which makes it possible to set up disability trusts is one way of addressing this issue. With all legislation we do not get it right first time and that is the case with the disability trust legislation. I have been dealing with a constituent who has been having enormous difficulty putting a trust in place, to a large extent related to red tape. They were having difficulty with conflict between legislation of different jurisdictions and how this impacted on the disability trust for their son, who has Asperger’s syndrome and an intellectual disability and has been deemed suitable to be a beneficiary of a trust.

Like my colleagues on this side of the House, I agree with points (1) to (5). I think there needs to be more work done to make trusts workable. It is a work in progress. The government is very mindful of issues that impact on the lives of carers who have children with disabilities. It is very wrong to say that we did not take the recommendations seriously. We take very seriously any report which looks at issues that impact on the lives of people with a disability and those caring for them. It is because of that that the Carer Recognition Bill 2010 will be introduced into this parliament during this session. I can absolutely be certain that the member for Gilmore will speak on this legislation. It sets out the definitions of ‘disability’ and ‘carer’ and 10 principles which will come into play in this area. It looks at the relationship between different levels of government and is a very important step forward. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr S Georganas)—Order! The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.53 pm to 4.00 pm