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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4168 ..


there will be ongoing oversight and review of implementation through an oversight committee which will be chaired by Professor Shaddock. I hope that all other relevant stakeholders will also be engaged and kept abreast of these changes.

In relation to Mr Wall’s concerns about post-school options, I also agree with the general concern in this area, but I believe this is a point that could well be shared for many students. The ACT Greens, including my former colleague Meredith Hunter, undertook significant community engagement and work on this issue in the last Assembly. This translated to an in-depth range of election priorities and a specific item in this Assembly’s parliamentary agreement which sees all students with disability in years 9 and 10 who attend ETD schools being able to be supported by the work experience and social placement program.

I would also like to acknowledge the commitments and work of my Labor colleagues in this area, such as the payroll tax exemptions of 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years, which provided up to $4,000 to eligible employers who hire a recent school leaver with a qualifying disability. This initiative was designed to help increase the opportunity of young people with disability to participate in employment.

From memory, the Canberra Liberals submitted a rather undercooked and poorly costed proposal for children with ASD, and I have not seen anything much more tangible since the last election.

There are other initiatives in this space, including the existing and continuing disability education coordinators in every school, and other programs that will seek to provide support for students to develop skills to support their participation in the workplace, provide support in the workplace, and develop employment sustainability. This is all in the context of the NDIS, and we must acknowledge that many of the future services in the area of disability and education and training will not be delivered by the ACT government.

While I thank Mr Wall for the motion and the opportunity to reflect on these matters in the Assembly today, I am not able to support the motion in the form it was presented. I will be supporting Ms Burch’s amendment, as I think that it captures the current status of where services to people with autism are up to, as it refers to the NDIS, the child development service and the recently completed expert panel review undertaken by Tony Shaddock and his colleagues.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (4.40): I thank Mr Wall for moving his motion. I appreciate the genuine concern that everyone in this place has to ensure the best opportunities and outcomes for all children in the ACT, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder, their families and the broader community. The government, however, cannot support the motion in its current form. I will be moving an amendment circulated in my name.

While this motion may be well intended, it omits more than it includes. It does strike me as odd that a motion criticising the government’s approach to addressing the needs of students with ASD in our schools makes no mention of the expert panel review on


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