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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . .

Page.. 3126..

Assembly. Ahead of the NDIS, it was great to hear the experiences of people with self-directed funding. The pilot began recruiting participants in June of last year and over the life of the project the pilot inducted 17 people who self-manage their funds and their supports and services.

My choice demonstrates what is possible when people with disability have control and manage their own supports and services. And it is just some of the work that is underway to ensure the NDIS trial in the ACT is a success and service providers and people with a disability are supported through that process.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what did the KPMG market soundings, which you referred to in your answer, highlight as strengths in the government's decision to transition out of service provision?

MS BURCH: As previously mentioned, the government engaged KPMG to conduct a program of market soundings, focus groups and research activities to help the transition of early intervention education groups to the community sector. Throughout June and July KPMG facilitated an early intervention and therapy forum with approximately 200 attendees, interviewed 31 providers, interviewed five peak body organisations, carried out 14 family focus groups with 64 participants, and produced reports on best practice in early intervention and advice to government.

The report reinforces the government's decision and articulates that a service transition will provide the opportunity to help establish greater choice for individuals with a disability, build a stronger and more sustainable service across the ACT and ensure that high-quality and safe services continue to be delivered. The report also indicates that there is significant interest from the market in providing early intervention services.

It was also clear that families see the transition as an opportunity to address a number of aspects of the current programs, such as improving the coordination of services. The report by KPMG will form the basis for us to ensure that we have services ready to go for children with a disability or developmental delay from next year, the beginning of the school term.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, how will the evaluation pilot help prepare both clients and organisations for the future of self-directed funding under the NDIS environment?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest. Findings from the my choice evaluation show that people were able to exercise greater choice and control as part of the pilot program. It identified that while self-management required administrative efforts by participants and their families and carers when setting up, the benefits outweighed the extra effort and people were more satisfied with the results.

As we transition to the NDIS, we are empowering people with a disability to have a choice of the services they want and control over the funding they use to pay for this. The evaluation highlighted that participants found it to be a positive experience to

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