21st June 2011
BOARDING HOUSE ACCOMMODATION
The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Ageing and Disability Services. Will the Minister clarify the position of the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care in respect of its duty of care to residents of licensed boarding houses given its role as licensor and regulator? How many departmental employees monitor licensed boarding houses and how many visits do they or official community visitors make to each boarding house each week? Is the Minister satisfied with the current level and quality of monitoring exercised by the department in respect of licensed boarding houses regulated under the Youth and Community Services Act?
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the member for her very detailed question. We have several procedures for dealing with questions in the House. A question asking for that level of detail should be placed on notice, so I will take it on notice.
The Hon. Lynda Voltz: Point of order: The Minister is obviously debating the question, which he is not entitled to do. I invite you to direct him accordingly.
The PRESIDENT: Order! Has the Minister concluded his answer?
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: No, I was going to make a couple of supplementary comments.
The PRESIDENT: Order! The Minister will answer the member’s question, not debate it.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I have taken the detail of the question on notice, but I was hoping for a question from the Hon. Cate Faehrmann because last week we were all a bit mystified when she did not get back from Tasmania. It was only later in the week that we heard that the Tasmanian Government had introduced its budget. Included in that budget was its wages policy.
The Hon. Luke Foley: Point of order: My point of order relates to relevance. The Minister is abusing the processes of the House by straying on to territory that has nothing to do with the question the member asked.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: To the point of order: It is a bit rich for the Leader of the Opposition to be talking about abusing the processes of the House—
The PRESIDENT: Order! The Minister will resume his seat. Question time is an opportunity for members to seek information. The Hon. Jan Barham asked a question; the Minister referred it to another Minister. It is not the time for the Minister to answer a question that he thinks another member might ask.
2nd August 2011
BOARDING HOUSE ACCOMMODATION
On 21 June 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services, a question without notice regarding boarding house accommodation. The Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services provided the following response:
1. Under the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 (YACS Act) and Youth and Community Services Regulation 2010 (YACS Regulation), Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) has an obligation to licence and regulate boarding houses that accommodate two or more people with a disability who require supervision and social habilitation.
Official Community Visitors and ADHC officers regularly visit licensed boarding houses. In particular, ADHC officers regularly monitor licensed premises and work with proprietors to meet the standards required by the Conditions of Licence and the YACS Regulation.
Where a boarding house proprietor does not comply with the conditions of license and the legislation in a way that represents a risk to the safety, welfare and wellbeing of people with a disability, ADHC will not hesitate to take action under the YACS Act. This can include a prosecution or revocation of the licence.
2 & 3. ADHC has 10 Regional Licensing Officers as part of the Boarding House Reform Program who monitor licensed boarding houses through unannounced inspection visits on a six to eight weekly basis.
Additionally, Licensing Officers conduct comprehensive Full Service Reviews of each premises every three years.
Official Community Visitors visit licensed boarding houses approximately once every eight weeks.
4. I am satisfied with the current level and quality of monitoring exercised by ADHC in respect of licensed boarding houses. ADHC takes seriously and fulfils its role in monitoring licensed boarding houses to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.