AGED AND DISABLED SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION
The Hon. PATRICIA FORSYTHE: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Community Services, Minister for Aged Services, and Minister for Disability Services. This is the question he was waiting for. Has the Ageing and Disability Department assessed the level of unmet need in New South Wales in terms of permanent supported accommodation? If so, what is the number of people waiting for access to supported accommodation? Does the Government have a timetable as to when it will be able to meet that need?
The Hon. R. D. DYER: The honourable member, had she researched my disability policy - which was issued before the last State election and is quite a thorough document - would realise that it refers to the appointment of an accommodation task force. I referred to the $50 million commitment which has been delivered in the current financial year. That is only the start of what the Government intends to do so far as disability services are concerned. As the honourable member suggested in her question, we do have to identify the outstanding need. Some people tend to think there may be a bottomless pit. I do not think the pit is without a bottom. However, it is true to say that the need was certainly not quantified in the past under the previous Government. Therefore, together with my colleague the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, and Minister for Housing I have appointed an accommodation task force to research the accommodation needs of people with a disability and people who are ageing. I regard this as an important exercise. I gave a commitment before the election that I would appoint such a task force, and though I cannot give a precise time, I hope that within six months or so we shall receive an excellent report identifying the need for accommodation for people with disabilities and those who are ageing.
As it is quite apparent that the Opposition has run out of intelligent questions, I ask that further questions be placed on notice.