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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 1022 ..

community. It is important to think about this in the context of the social model of disability. All of us in the Canberra community have a role to play in making our community safer, more accessible and more inclusive for all of us.

Advocacy services are critical in ensuring that people with disability are heard, have their rights upheld and can access the right services to support them to live a full life. The ACT government funds ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service and Advocacy for Inclusion to directly support people with disability to access the service they need and to achieve equitable outcomes.

Individual advocacy support is especially necessary given the issues that became apparent during the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Many of the interim recommendations by the royal commission point to the need for effective advocacy services and the support that they provide in keeping people with disability safe and their interests protected. Research and analysis led by the commonwealth government has also found that, contrary to initial policy assumptions and settings, demand for individual advocacy support has increased following the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The ACT also funds organisations to deliver systemic advocacy services. These include Carers ACT, National Disability Services, Women with Disabilities ACT and People with Disabilities ACT, who are now part of Advocacy for Inclusion. These organisations that focus on systemic advocacy play a vital role in improving the lives of people with disability and I thank them for their work.

I am committed to listening to and understanding the experiences and views of people with disability. I am committed to co-designing solutions with people with disability to ensure that we get things right from the beginning wherever possible. The disability reference group is one of the ACT government’s key ways of hearing from people with disability and the sector on issues, challenges and opportunities within the Canberra community. The ACT government works closely with the reference group, who generously consider issues and provide us with advice on the ways in which we can make the ACT an even more inclusive and accessible community.

In 2019-20, the disability reference group worked towards reinvigorating the ACT’s disability commitment, increasing the rate of employment of people with disability, better health outcomes for Canberrans with disability and reducing the disproportionate levels and often adverse outcomes of people with disability in the ACT justice system. I look forward to continuing to work with them to progress this. I will continue to work with the disability reference group, the ACT’s advocacy organisations and the community to protect the human rights of people with disability and the choice, control and continuity for people with disability in making decisions about the services and supports that they access to achieve their own life goals.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (6.18): As Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I am pleased to briefly outline to the Assembly how this budget

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