Page 3760 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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To lead phase 2, the Disability Health Strategy Steering Committee was formed to ensure that we developed the strategy with rather than for the community. This committee is co-chaired by Dougie Herd, a highly regarded disability activist and former Chair of the ACT Disability Reference Group. There are 24 members of the committee, which includes community representatives who are people with lived experience of disability and/or carers of people with disability who actively applied to participate in and contribute to the development of the strategy, community disability service providers or advocacy groups, and ACT government representatives from across ACT public health services and government.

To ensure that the committee is supported to deliver this significant system reform project, the ACT government invested $260,000 through the 2022-23 budget into the work to finalise the strategy. Since the steering committee first met on 28 April this year, it has been busy working to develop the vision and priorities for the strategy. I am pleased to report that, at its most recent meeting, on 10 November, the committee resolved the clear direction for development of the strategy, following consultation with the ACT Disability Reference Group.

As members may be aware, there is a lot of activity in this policy space. On 3 December 2021, Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 was launched. This strategy has seven outcome areas: employment and financial security, inclusive homes and communities, safety, rights and justice, personal and community support, education and learning, health and wellbeing, and community attitudes.

In response to the national strategy, the ACT Office for Disability is developing an overarching 10-year ACT Disability Strategy. The whole-of-government ACT Disability Strategy and the Disability Health Strategy are interlinked, with both launching in 2023.

Minister Davidson, who is responsible for the Disability Strategy, and I, are working closely together to ensure alignment and avoid duplication across the development process to ultimately deliver better outcomes for Canberrans living with disability. We are both acutely aware of how much trust has been put in us by the community and how important both pieces of work are.

Also closely linked is the Canberra Health Services Disability Action and Inclusion Plan, which will be launched at the end of this month, in the lead-up to the International Day of People with Disability, or I-Day, on 3 December. As the largest provider of ACT government funded health services and the only provider of many specialist services, CHS has a key role to play in delivering a more inclusive health system. The process of developing the Disability Action and Inclusion Plan has been an important one, but it has also highlighted how much more there is to do.

In closing, I would like to reiterate the government’s commitment to developing and implementing a disability health strategy to improve health outcomes for people with disability. I would also like to thank the members of the Disability Health Strategy Steering Committee and the ACT disability community for their continued support and engagement in the development of the Disability Health Strategy. I present the following paper:

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