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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4728 ..


MS LE COUTEUR: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what is the current protocol for engaging with service providers if the government has a concern about the service provider, including those who may be over the border?

Mr Hargreaves: Point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was about the accreditation of disability service providers. I did not hear any reference to that in this particular supplementary. Perhaps Ms Le Couteur could rephrase it a bit.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, can we hear your question again?

MS LE COUTEUR: Certainly. My question was: minister, what is the current protocol for engaging with service providers if the government has a concern about a service provider, including those over the border?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Hargreaves. Accreditation and the quality of services provided seem a fairly solid match to me.

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Le Couteur for her question. We have strong standards around the services we contract to provide services to. There have been significant improvements in our processes and protocols around that over time. As one would expect in any service delivery arm, over time you improve. That is just a standard quality cycle that goes to that. If the department is aware of or has concerns about any service, it is something that will be actively investigated. I am not prepared to stand here as a minister and say that Disability ACT would deliver services through a service that it had no faith in.

As to the processes about how we investigate or ascertain and ensure the quality and the safety of those that are there, that will depend on the circumstances. But rest assured that if any issue came to mind, Disability ACT would be very active to ensure the quality and safety of the program and service delivered.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, are the accreditation standards for disability services national standards or are they standards for individual jurisdictions? Is there any conflict between the two jurisdictions, the ACT and New South Wales?

MS BURCH: I do thank Mr Hargreaves for his interest in this matter. We are bound by existing purchasing disability agreements but we are also in the process of a national conversation around national disability standards, of which matters around quality, access, accreditation and all that are part.

Mrs Dunne: Indeed.


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