Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 27.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 27 2011 - 19
Many gardens and lawns only require
watering once per week and even less if there
has been rain. So check your soil first to see if
your garden actually needs watering.
When can I water?
As Permanent Water Conservation Measures continue to apply, make sure
you know when and how you can water your gardens and lawns.
• Sprinklers and other irrigation systems, including drip irrigation,
may only be used to water lawns and plants after 6pm and before 9am
on any day.
• A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering
can may be used to water lawns and plants at any time.
At all times lawns and plants may only be watered without causing
pooling or runoff.
For full details of what applies under Permanent Water
Conservation Measures visit actew.com.au or call ACTEW s
Water Conser vation Office on 6248 3131.
or call the Water
Conser vation Office on
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Give disabled the dignity they deserve
FEW people go through life without experienc-
ing disability. Some examples: being confined
to bed with flu or breaking a leg or temporarily
blind. A temporary loss of voice would also be
a disability even though it might make life
more pleasant for other people.
In fact the list of such disabilities is almost limitless
and though most of us would not think them disabilities,
for some people they are a disaster of the first magnitude.
But whether minor and temporary or major and
permanent, when people are affected the one thing they
all have in common is their need of help.
Some periods of disability can be overcome by
treatment in hospital or even by self-administered
medication; some cannot. Unfortunately some
disabilities are so serious only governments can provide
the money necessary to fund programs to help people
with a disability.
Thus Federal, State and Territory Governments fund
many disability programs, some of which are classed as
priority, which is as it should be. It should also be
mentioned that the Federal Government proposes to
introduce a National Disability Insurance Scheme that
will help ease the financial burdens many families with
seriously disabled members face. Sadly, some problems
But let us not sit back thinking the scheme a panacea
for all the problems in the disability field and say to
ourselves: problem solved. What we should do is ensure
that, when introduced, the ACT should be so well
prepared that its introduction will proceed smoothly thus
ensuring that families with serious disabled members
will enjoy maximum benefit.
Having had a long personal association with disability
(with two physically, now one, disabled sisters) and
having worked for years with various disability
organisations in Canberra, people often contact me with
their concerns. Fortunately, many are easy to solve;
unfortunately, that is not always the case.
From experience I know that many parents of children
with a disability often get emotional if they think their
children are being disadvantaged at school. Their reason
for becoming emotional is they feel their children are
getting less than adequate attention. At times, and rightly
or wrongly, they see this disadvantage in terms of
Unfortunately, the parents' emotion turns to anger. I
understand this too. Indeed at times, when this
discrimination applies to people with a disability, I
become angry. That some parents become angry is due
to them thinking that in some respects the discrimination
seems to have become endemic. I hear these statements
with a sense of deja vu and sadness because many years
ago I heard parents say the same.
They also say that when nothing happened after
taking their concerns to the Government in desperation,
they voiced them to the Opposition. I am sure they will
be pleased to know that, in a recent speech to the
Assembly, Opposition disability spokesman Steve
Doszpot raised their concerns about a shortage of
equipment for people with a disability; lack of therapy
and after-school care services at special schools; lack of
post-school options for special needs students; a
shortage of supported accommodation; and poor respite
services. While such concerns clearly point to a shortage
of both staff and money, I hasten to add that they do not
point to lack of effort by staff who labour tirelessly and
often in their own time, for the people in their care.
Indeed, many parents say if they could give them a medal
and an increase in pay, they would.
Briefly, although the National Disability Insurance
Scheme might cure some problems, it will not cure the
lack of understanding among policy makers of what
caring for a person with a disability means and how it can
affect a family's life. And although the ACT election is
not due until October 2012, some parents who called me
said they intend to support new candidates and/or current
members who seem to think the curing of such problems
is no longer aspirational but necessary.
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