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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2011) . . Page.. 4305 ..


under the current arrangements. The commission has recommended that the government be responsible for the administration and funding of a national disability insurance scheme. I think all in this place have discussed that and have agreed that this is certainly a very positive way forward. On 10 August, we know, that productivity report was released.

Back in August I went on to say that we acknowledge that more is to be done in responding to unmet need but that it is worth noting that the program budget has increased by 101.4 per cent since 2002. The funding is allocated. The current budget is $10.3 million over four years—the most recent budget. The funding is allocated to respond to the needs of people whose formal supports have broken down, to school leavers who need assistance to engage in meaningful activities during the day, and to support the after school hours and vacation needs of children and young people with disability.

Additionally, accommodation places have risen by 64 per cent, community support places by 158 per cent, community access hours by 140 per cent and flexible respite hours by 117 per cent. We noted that these are significant facts when talking about the provisions for responding to unmet need.

We also made mention that the framework outlined in Future directions: towards challenge 2014 guides work around disability in the ACT, and that unmet need takes many forms and can be addressed in many ways.

Disability ACT will continue to work actively with people who have a disability, and their families and carers, to identify goals and strengths and to help them reach these. Disability ACT will continue its program of ongoing planning and assessment with the families of individuals once they have been allocated funding, in order to better tailor services to the changing needs of a person with a disability. As well, Disability ACT is working across government and with service providers to ensure that there is a holistic and accountable approach in the way that services and programs are developed and accessed by people with a disability.

I thank members for allowing me to recap what was made mention of in August in response to the select committee’s report. As is noted, the matter of unmet need for disability services is ongoing and is an issue with which all jurisdictions are grappling. The ACT government has recognised the need for more assistance and has increased the disability program budget by 101.4 per cent since 2002. Since then, accommodation places have risen by 64 per cent, community support places by 158 per cent, community access hours by 140 per cent and flexible respite hours by 117 per cent.

Disability ACT continues to participate in work which is occurring under the national disability agreement reform agenda, specifically measuring demand. This work should deliver a more accurate picture of the current level of demand for services and more refined estimates of potential demand and enhanced capacity to monitor demand for services. The ACT participates in this project as one of the eight reform priorities under the national disability agreement. Finally, the ACT government continues to make disability services a priority, to genuinely respond to unmet need for people with a disability here in the ACT.


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