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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3954..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I just wish to reiterate that our concern is for his welfare and the welfare of those people engaged in the operations within that building—there are no more and no less reasons for our activities than that.

Disability services

MS MacDONALD: My question through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Deputy Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for Disability and Community Services. Minister, could you update the Assembly on the performance and achievements of ACT Disability Services this year?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the first question on disability services that I have received this year. The question is particularly timely given that the International Day of People with a Disability was celebrated on 3 December, not just here in the ACT but across Australia and across the world. The Sunday Fun Day I-Day in the Park was held on 2 December in Glebe Park. It is estimated that over 800 people attended and were entertained by musicians and street performers and participated in activities and games.

On Monday, 3 December a celebration breakfast was hosted by Karin MacDonald here at the Legislative Assembly in which she launched a new online service—the CAN Access Disability Information Directory. This website is a joint initiative between Disability ACT and the citizens advice bureau to provide comprehensive information about disability services and programs in the ACT and about access around the city.

Of course, these events, along with the countless improvements made to the lives of people with disabilities over recent years, have been due to this government's significant investment in this area. In its 2007 budget the government allocated additional resources for disability services in the territory. We have provided $15.3 million over four years to enable people with a disability to receive accommodation support, increased carer support, increased respite support and increased community access services, including increased support for post-school options.

As a result of this increase since 2003, we have increased support for individual support services—or ISP funding—from $5.3 million to $8.3 million. Post-school options have been increased to $1.025 million. We have set up a mature carers program and introduced new services, such as the local area coordination service, and increased respite services, including special respite for older adults. We have developed specialist services for families with children who have intense support needs, including children with challenging behaviours.

There has been increased support for autism assessment and the establishment and implementation of an intensive care and treatment program for people with dual disabilities and complex behavioural problems. There has been the initiation of a community-based support service for youth and young adults on the north side of Canberra. We have developed a specialist accommodation service for people who have an acquired brain injury. We have increased recurrent funding to community


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