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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2408 ..

provides a nice profit margin for some people, mostly labour hire companies, at the expense of the employees and the participants.

Indeed, before the plan for full-blown independent assessments was opposed at the last ministers’ meeting, it was reported that the federal government had already struck deals worth around $300 million before either the legislation had been introduced or the state and territory ministers had agreed. This manner of getting work completed is an administrative choice made by the federal government and the NDIA. The federal government could, in fact, save money by directly employing their workers. Outsourcing work will never lead to the institutional knowledge needed to administer the scheme properly with a highly skilled and deeply experienced workforce.

The NDIS was founded to be a mechanism to provide a person-centred support model which gave choice and control to those in need of support. There was and remains so much potential for this to genuinely occur. What needs to happen is for the commonwealth to stick to this principle and stop trying to short-change the people of the ACT and Australia when it comes to the support they are entitled to when they need it.

The motion in my name calls on the ACT government and the minister responsible to continue to champion an NDIS where person-centred support that gives choice and control to people with disability is a core principle. It is currently up to progressive state and territory governments and disability ministers to push back on regressive changes moved by the federal government and the federal minister. This is what Minister Davidson did at the July 2021 meeting.

The final call to action in my motion is that this Assembly calls on the commonwealth to honour the commitment given at that July 2021 meeting to co-design any changes to the NDIS with people with disability and their supporters. This is a core feature of what the NDIS was meant to do. For the benefit of the 8,000 ACT NDIS support recipients, I commend this motion and the message that it sends to both Minister Davidson and the minister for disability in the commonwealth to support people being able to have choice and control over their lives.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (3.55): I thank Ms Orr for raising this important matter for discussion today. The ACT’s National Disability Insurance Scheme journey commenced as the first jurisdiction to sign up for the NDIS in 2013. It was also the first jurisdiction to transition all eligible participants to the scheme in 2016-17. The ACT government was and is proud to lead the nation in delivering this important reform.

The NDIS has since continued to grow and gather momentum, and has transcended political boundaries. The vision of the NDIS was to deliver a person-centred, rights-based approach to disability supports that puts funding for disability services in the hands of people with disability rather than service providers, placing them at the centre of the decision-making process and granting greater choice and control over the services they receive.

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