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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1549..

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Disability Services (Disability Service Providers) Amendment Bill 2014

Ms Burch, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement, a Human Rights Act compatibility statement and an exposure draft of the Disability Services Regulation 2014 and related disallowable instruments.

Title read by Clerk.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.39): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am proud to present the Disability Services (Disability Service Providers) Amendment Bill 2014 today. The trial of the national disability insurance scheme in the ACT will commence on 1 July this year. This is a significant reform and will revolutionise the way that people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in Australia. The territory was locked in its commitment to the NDIS in December of 2012 by signing the intergovernmental agreement for the national disability insurance scheme launch, which confirms each party's responsibilities and funding details for the rollout of the NDIS in the ACT. As agreement is yet to be reached on the design of a nationally consistent quality assurance and safeguarding framework, all states, including the ACT, committed to maintain existing arrangements for the trial period.

The diversity of arrangements in states and territories across Australia reflects the variation and opinion on optimum strategies to regulate and safeguard the provision of disability services. The current safeguarding and regulatory model in the ACT is a product of the history and values of the ACT, including its commitment to human rights.

The ACT will be the first jurisdiction to accept all eligible residents into the scheme. We expect that by July 2016 all residents with a significant and permanent disability, around 5,000 people, will be covered by the scheme. This presents unique challenges and opportunities in transitioning from the current model of government-funded disability services to one where NDIS participants are individually funded and can purchase services directly. As the ACT trial of the NDIS will involve conditions that mirror the full scheme, existing contracts with providers will be gradually phased out. The loss of contracts will eliminate the authority to enforce compliance on a range of safeguards.

This bill allows the territory to meet its commitments under the intergovernmental agreement and establishes transitional safeguarding and quality assurance frameworks

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