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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2411 ..

Additionally, as a joint shareholder in the scheme, I have raised the ACT’s significant concerns that any legislative changes to the NDIS Act and to NDIS rules may reduce the role of state and territory governments in defining and clarifying what constitutes reasonable and necessary supports under the category A rules, particularly in regard to the commonwealth’s proposed changes in 2019 for the preclusion of sex therapy, sex work or services aimed at sexual release, which they propose to be authorised through category D rules. Any changes to the services and supports covered by the NDIS, such as these, should be pursuant to a category A rule change and require agreement from all state and territory governments.

In conclusion, I wish to reassure the ACT community that we are listening to, learning from and being informed by the voices of people with disability, their families, carers, supporters and broader disability sector, and we will continue to do so.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (4.02): Once again this Labor-Greens government is trying to punch above its own weight and grandstand about issues, rather than focusing on achieving good outcomes. The Assembly should be aware that the latest disability reform ministers meeting was held on 9 July 2021. The disability reform ministers meeting is a body chaired and driven by the commonwealth government, so it is totally unnecessary for this motion to call on the commonwealth government to honour a commitment made at their own meeting.

I also remind Ms Orr that, at this meeting, ministers welcomed the NDIS Independent Advisory Council’s advice to the NDIS board on strengthening the NDIS reforms to access and planning, and noted the council’s recommendations. In fact, at this meeting, all ministers, including commonwealth ministers, agreed that the independent assessments would not proceed.

Ministers also agreed to work in partnership with those with lived experience of disability, through the Independent Advisory Council and disability representatives. This means that there will be a focus on the co-design of a new, person-centred model that delivers consistency and equity in access and planning outcomes.

This is consistent with the legislative requirements for assessments set out under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. It also meets the original intent of the scheme. Please note that this all happened under the leadership of a Liberal-National coalition federal government. At the next meeting in August, I am sure that there will be further developments on this front. It must be noted that ministers and governments of all persuasions have already put their commitment on the record.

Again, this motion is simply pointless. It feels like we are all wasting valuable time and focus, when there are so many other issues that we could be discussing that relate to people with disability in the ACT. First, it calls on the ACT government merely to continue doing something that they are already doing. Second, it calls on the commonwealth government to do something that the disability reform ministers meeting has already agreed to do, in July.

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