Younger people in residential aged care program QoN

Question

14th June 2011

YOUNGER PEOPLE IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE PROGRAM
The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Disability Services. With the funding stream for the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Program due to expire in July this year, what arrangements have been made with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the improvement and continuation of this program? Will the Minister maintain or increase the jointly funded $81.2 million commitment of the first five years of the program during the continuation of the program?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the member for another timely question. I will refer it to the Minister and provide her with an answer in due course.

Answer

2nd August 2011

YOUNGER PEOPLE IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE PROGRAM

On 14 June 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Disability Services, a question without notice regarding younger people in residential aged care program. The Minister for Disability Services provided the following response:

The NSW Government is committed to supporting younger people with a disability in, or at risk of entering residential aged care and delivery against the performance benchmark under the National Disability Agreement.

NSW has jointly funded the YPIRAC Program with the Australian Government. The NSW and Australian Governments have each provided a total of $40.6 million over the last five years. Funding of over $25.3 million per annum ($12.6 million from each Government) has now been rolled into the National Disability Agreement funding base and will continue to be used to support younger people with a disability in, or at risk of entering residential aged care.

In April 2011, Disability Services Ministers discussed the future of the YPIRAC Program and agreed that the setting of any new program targets requires joint commitment to additional funding. The Australian Government has not agreed to any additional commitment at this time.

However, we also agreed that good outcomes for this target group cannot be delivered solely by specialist disability services. Disability Officials have been charged with developing an Action Plan that identifies future policy directions to achieve better pathways for younger people in residential aged care in conjunction with other mainstream service systems.

I am committed to working with State and Territory Disability Ministers and the Australian Government and engaging with other portfolio ministers to achieve better outcomes for this group of people.

 

 

 

 

 

Armidale Public Housing QWN

Question

16th June 2011

ARMIDALE PUBLIC HOUSING
The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services. Will the Minister confirm whether Housing NSW has more than 100 empty houses in Armidale? If so, what is planned for those houses? Will the Minister also confirm whether Housing NSW has built more than 100 new one- and two-bedroom units in Armidale?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: In the interests of everyone, I will take that question on notice.

Answer

2nd August 2011

ARMIDALE PUBLIC HOUSING

 

On 16 June 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, a question without notice regarding Armidale public housing. The Minister for Finance and Services provided the following response:

There are currently 27 vacant public housing properties in Armidale. Of these, 10 are currently undergoing maintenance for re-letting to applicants on the Housing Register. Seventeen are currently undergoing refurbishment and will be leased to Homes North Community Housing who will let these properties as affordable housing to households on low to moderate incomes.

Housing NSW advises that it has delivered around 130 new social housing homes in Armidale under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. It is my understanding that the new stock comprises mostly one and two bedroom units, with a number of these being adaptable to suit the needs of people with disabilities or mobility problems.

Disability Access QWN

Question

17th June 2011

DISABILITY ACCESS

 
The Hon. JAN BARHAM: I direct my question to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure. The Disability (Access to Premises—Buildings) Standards and accompanying changes to the Building Code of Australia commenced on 1 May 2011, giving greater emphasis to universal design principles. To support these reforms, an Access Advisory Committee has been established to assess applications for exemptions from the standards, based on unjustifiable hardship. Will the Minister advise whether any Commonwealth or New South Wales disability advocacy organisations have representation on that committee? If not, why not? Will the Minister advise how many applications for exemptions from the standards have been sought from the Access Advisory Committee and whether the exemption process will be mandatory?

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the Hon. Jan Barham for her very interesting question. I will be interested to obtain an answer from the Minister and provide it as soon as possible. 

Answer

2nd August 2011

DISABILITY ACCESS

On 17 June 2011 the Hon. Jan Barham asked the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, a question without notice regarding disability access. The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure provided the following response:

• The Access Advisory Committee under the NSW Building Professionals Board has been established in accordance with the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Building Codes Board.

• Experts in a range of fields were sought to assist in the Committee’s functions, including the fields of disability access, building code compliance, quantity surveying and heritage conservation.

• These experts have associations with a range of professional bodies including the NSW Network of Access Consultants, the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, and the Heritage Council.

• Whilst the Committee contains significant expertise in disability access matters it does not comprise persons advocating positions on behalf of disability organisations as the task of the Committee is to provide assessments against the technical standards contained in the Disability Standards and the Building Code of Australia.

• As at 21 June 2011 no applications have been received for consideration by the Committee.

• Initially, referral of matters involving unjustifiable hardship will be voluntary. Should proposed changes be made to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, referral of all matters involving unjustifiable hardship to the Committee will be mandatory.

 

Boarding House Accomodation QoN

Question:

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.

 

Answer:

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.