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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

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September of this year. Through the tender we will be able to provide families with certainty of the new services and offer financial security to providers while allowing them time to adjust to the new model.

During this process more than 40 organisations attended an industry briefing, which shows the level of enthusiasm within the sector. The Australian government's National Disability Insurance Agency is finalising this tender process, and this is expected to be completed within the week. As soon as is possible I will inform the Assembly of the results of that tender process.

The Education and Training Directorate has provided and will continue to provide families with regular updates about the transition of early intervention services to community providers. The directorate will support children currently attending early intervention programs to transition to the new services either through the NDIS or through ACT government mainstream services.

This is significant and complex reform that we are undertaking, and, while it will be of great benefit to people with disability in the ACT, I recognise that there will be concern and uncertainty along the way. But, as the Canberra Times wrote in its editorial of 9 October, uncertainty must be confronted and sorted and not used as an excuse for delay. I agree, and that is what the government is doing.

I know we will have organisations that are ready and willing to deliver high quality services from 2015 and that families will be able to have confidence in those services.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.09): To put it in simple terms, the minister's statement this morning is largely inadequate. This ministerial statement is in response to a motion I moved earlier this year on behalf of the opposition calling on the government to maintain early intervention services until such time as there was sufficient depth in the ACT market to meet the needs of Canberra families that rely on these services. The amendment the minister moved herself was that in the first sitting week of term 4 2014—which is this week—she will provide the Assembly with an update on the readiness of early intervention government and non-government service providers to commence in the 2015 school year as a result of the motion moved in the Assembly on 4 June, as I mentioned earlier.

The minister spoke about a report KPMG have done and how many people they have spoken to. She spoke about a forum or an expo that was held where more than 1,000 people attended and 50 organisations. I and representatives from my office were there and, yes, 50 organisations were present but only a handful of them were actually looking at providing early intervention services; the vast majority of them were advocacy organisations and providers of hardware such as wheelchairs. The 300-plus families that rely on these early intervention services and that are waiting for the statement from the minister today to finally be enlightened as to what opportunities might exist for their children next year have been left wanting.


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