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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 3974 ..

Schools—early intervention program

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Disability. Minister, on 28 October this year you announced the six organisations who will be providing early intervention services from the beginning of the 2015 school year, stating that these organisations have the “capacity, experience and interest in providing early intervention services that are evidence based, child focused, and family centred”. Minister, will the group therapy programs provided by these organisations deliver the same standard of therapy as is currently provided by the ACT government?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Wall for his question. The six organisations he is referring to were part of the expo. Certainly they and other providers were there recently out at the Hedley Beare—that is, Northcott; Noah’s Ark Victoria; the Cerebral Palsy Alliance; Autism Spectrum Australia, Aspect; Each; and SDN child and family services. In talking with families and talking with providers out there, there will be a mix of group work and individual therapy interventions, but I am also able to advise that some of the interest was about what schools these services will be operating out of. Northcott will provide services, a range of services, from Mount Neighbour preschool and the Neville Bonner Primary School.

Mr Wall: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Can you stop the clock? Mr Wall on a point of order.

Mr Wall: Madam Speaker, the question was fairly direct in asking the minister whether the new service providers will be providing the same standard of service as the current services provided by the ACT government, not who the providers were going to be or their location.

MADAM SPEAKER: While I hear the point of order, and the standing orders do require people to be directly relevant, I think that there is some latitude for the minister to speak about the six organisations as well so long as she also gets to the point of the question, and that is: will the group therapy provided meet the same standard?

MS BURCH: For the interest of members, I will continue with the list of where these groups are going. The SDN child and family services will operate out of Namadgi preschool site and Weetangera. Each will go through each provider at Evatt. The Cerebral Palsy Alliance will be at Gilmore Preschool, Flynn Preschool—also operating from the new, fabulous building that I was part of opening in Scullin. Aspect will be at Charles Conder preschool and Scullin preschool. And Noah’s Ark are, at this stage, looking for alternative sites so that they can operate also outside of school hours in a range of settings for family needs.

In regard to the standards, all the registered providers are required to meet standards to make sure that they satisfy the National Disability Insurance Agency and our own requirements as far as safeguards and standards go.

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