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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2011) . . Page.. 1314 ..


look at unmet need. We know that many people do not actually apply for services because they may have given up or they do not know what services are available or they have never actually applied. I think that needs to be considered as well.

One of the other areas is the percentage of participants in VET programs who have a disability. We know many young people with a disability experience problems accessing appropriate care or educational programs once they finish their final year at school. There need to be increased post-school options for young people who can then have other opportunities beyond schooling.

In relation to the proportion of the ACT government workforce with a disability, I have moved a motion on the number of people with a disability employed in the ACT public service. We await the government’s action on achieving a specific employment target, which I think will be a very positive thing for the ACT.

As to the number and range of inclusive sport and recreation, community and arts activities for people with a disability, Special Olympics is one particular group that claims that recognition of athletes with an intellectual disability is not equal to that of other athletes, including athletes with a physical disability. Sport is a very important way of achieving social inclusion and I think it deserves greater recognition in the whole scheme of things.

Regarding the number of people with disability who are a victim of crime, there are groups lobbying for changes to the victims of crime legislation. This is specifically mentioned in the national disability strategy. The ACT Attorney-General has said he will wait for COAG, but we fear that that process may be too slow in achieving the changes that groups are looking for.

In relation to the proportion of people with disability who experience difficulty in accessing transport, we know that the issue of wheelchair accessible taxis is of significant concern. We were disappointed that the ACT government essentially continued with the same approach that has been tried before and has not worked before. The proposal put forward by the WAT Consortium was not actually costed. I think we would find that the number of subsidies that the government is currently providing to an ineffective system is large and could be put towards a better system of salaried drivers, which would have better outcomes for the people who use those services.

Regarding the percentage of ACT disability services that meet or exceed national disability standards, we need to move to accreditation, and soon. This has been on the table for some time. Parents want to know that when they put their child in care there are assurances as to the level of care that will be provided. No-one wants to place their child in care if it poses a threat to their life or wellbeing.

I note that a social enterprise hub has been mentioned by Ms Burch. The Greens believe that this should be expanded and that we can look to other jurisdictions—in particular, the Brisbane City Council, which has a proportion of their contracts with social enterprises. We have an opportunity here in the ACT to achieve this because of the size of our jurisdiction. Also, there are opportunities for the ACT to create


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