Page 210 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

included, listened to and learned from. I acknowledge the critical need for genuine consultation and co-design opportunities for people with disability, prior to a decision on the future model of the person-centric assessments model being made and agreed to multilaterally.

As Minister for Disability, I am constantly grateful to the people with disability whose continued tenacity and advocacy is essential to ensuring their voices are heard and their experiences included. Thank you for your commitment to inform, shape and contribute to scheme reforms, for the better. I thank each and every one of you who attended a commonwealth forum, participated in a consultation, contributed to submissions or participated at a Parliament House hearing.

The ACT government will continue to work with the commonwealth to ensure that the NDIS delivers on the original principles of the scheme of “choice” and “control”, and that the commonwealth honours their commitment to “co-design” the future “person-centric assessment model” with people with disability and their supporters.

The ACT government acknowledges that the NDIS is at an important juncture and there is a huge opportunity for best practice co-design, engagement, transparency, consultation and person-centric practices to be a key feature of how the NDIS is strengthened and sustained into the future.

This was noted by 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott in his acceptance speech. Dylan said:

We have got to fund the NDIS, first and foremost, and listen to people with lived experience and ask them what they need so they can get out and start living the lives they want to live and remind ourselves that it is an investment in people with disabilities.

In fact, I have taken Dylan Alcott’s acceptance speech as my to-do list for 2022. In addition to fixing the NDIS, he asked that we ensure that people with disability have access to vaccines and rapid antigen tests so that they are safe and can engage confidently in the community. I am proud to say that the ACT government is supplying rapid antigen tests to disability support workers who provide in-home services—enough for every worker to be tested every day they go to work, so that they do not have to search on the private market or people with disability do not have to pay for them out of their NDIS plans.

We also have a vaccination rate higher than the national average for people with disability, and disability support workers, thanks to the efforts of ACT Health to provide priority bookings, and the excellent work done by the access and sensory clinic in providing vaccinations to people with disability and their carers at the Weston Creek walk-in clinic. This is what good public health policy should do: prioritise the needs of those whose health is most at risk from the effects of COVID-19.

Dylan also asked that we continue to improve employment opportunities for people with disability. One of the last pieces of work that I did with Sue Salthouse a few

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video