Targeted Assistance Strategy
In April 2012 the ACT Government released the Targeted Assistance Strategy; developed by an expert panel drawn from the ACT community. This strategy builds on the work the ACT Government has already done to support Canberrans facing financial pressures. The report also provides direction and recommendations for ways the community, business and individuals can provide targeted assistance to those in need.
In September 2012 the Government released an Implementation Progress Report.
The Assistance website provides a single portal for government and community assistance for those who seek information on available assistance.
Flexible payment options for fees, fines and charges
Coming into effect in May 2013 are changes to the Road Transport Act which include new options for the payment of parking and traffic infringements including:
- Extended Time to Pay (up to six months);
- Payment By Instalment;
- Work and Development Orders; and
- the possibility of waivers of penalties relating to traffic and parking infringements.
This will allow people to enter into regular fortnightly payments or other payment arrangements in circumstances where payment of the fine would be difficult. Sanctions, which include loss of licence, then will not apply for those who enter payment arrangements, allowing people to maintain or seek work.
It is noted that this relates only to the fines portion of a penalty, and the demerit points system is unaffected.
Better access to public dental schemes
On 4 February 2013 the Federal Minister for Health and the Chief Minister announced that the Australian Government is investing $5.5 million in the ACT's public dental system over the next two-and-a-half years to reduce public dental waiting lists. This funding will enable almost 4,000 more ACT residents to get low-cost dental care.