Michelle Lensink

Disability Services

A question put forward to the Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) regarding the investigation by the Public Advocate into equipment purchases.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:59): My questions are to the Minister for Disabilities regarding the investigation by the Public Advocate into equipment purchases:

1. How much money was involved in total?

2. Were there any breaches of the Public Service Act, the Disability Services Act or the Public Service codes of conduct?

3. Will the government refund the clients who had money taken without their authority?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (15:00): I would like to thank the honourable member for her important question. Today I am advised that if people have paid for equipment that they were eligible for they will be reimbursed. I have been advised that there is a system that is checked at multiple levels by staff providing support and staff monitoring for trust funds to ensure people who are eligible for equipment receive the equipment for free.

Through working with the Public Advocate, 51 pieces of equipment were identified. Not all items were within the scope of the current equipment provisions and some clients elected to pay for the equipment themselves. We do not discourage people from purchasing their own equipment if they wish to do so, but we do assist where we can. To provide some context around equipment provision through this government, in 2011-2012 we will provide 5,000 equipment items and 600 home modifications, I am advised.

As a result of our commitments we have increased the amount of disability equipment supplied by 400 per cent since 2001-2002. Since 2002 we have invested an unprecedented $50.5 million in disability equipment, and this commitment will boost our annual commitment to disability equipment, repairs and home modifications for both adults and children to $9.3 million; an increase of 95 per cent since 2002-2003. I reiterate that for any instances in which people have been charged in the past through their trust accounts for equipment for which they would be eligible otherwise, the department will reimburse those costs.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Lensink has a supplementary.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:01): Will the minister answer my questions about the breaches and how much was involved or not?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers) (15:02): I apologise, I overlooked those earlier questions. I will undertake to get a response on those and bring it back to the house.

Answered 15th May, 2012

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Minister for Social Housing, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Youth, Minister for Volunteers): I am advised:

1. The estimated costs of privately purchased equipment owned by clients as at November 2010 was $142,235.

2. No.

questions archive

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.