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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3640 ..

inflexible in processing their plan or review so that they can access the supports that they need. At a time when COVID is putting pressure on our hospital systems, these delays by the NDIA are unacceptable.

Many people with disability require extra support to live safely and well. This is particularly the case for people with psychosocial disability, or those with complex needs or challenging behaviours, who benefit from more intensive case management or increased interim supports. For this, I am pleased that $4.409 million over four years has been allocated for the continued delivery of the Integrated Service Response Program to ensure that more people with disability can access support that is relevant to their needs. ISRP is run through the Office for Disability and, though small, it makes a significant difference to the lives of people with disability, their carers and their families.

The ISRP program provides short-term case coordination and emergency funding. While it is a program of last resort, referrals over time indicate that, for people with disability with highly complex needs, ISRP provides essential support that often cannot be received through the NDIS. During COVID-19, the ISRP program referrals at times increased by 100 per cent. Through the 2021-22 ACT budget, I am proud that this government has recognised the importance of ensuring people with disability in the ACT have access to an inclusive service that responds to individual needs.

It is a privilege to be Minister for Disability. A crucial part of this role is listening to the disability community in the ACT and acting on what they share with me. Over the past year, but especially over the past few months during COVID lockdown, I have met with the community regularly. What I have heard is that there is still a long way to go in the ACT to ensure that our community services and our city are inclusive and accessible to all people with disability, no matter their level or type of need.

Some of this work is being progressed through the disability justice strategy, the disability health strategy and the various disability access and inclusion plans across ACT public services. I look forward to talking more about the future for disability policy in the ACT next week when we celebrate I-Day, the International Day of People with Disability, which falls on 3 December. This funding for individual advocacy and the Integrated Service Response Program is also an integral part of achieving accessibility and inclusion. Through this funding, we are ensuring that when mainstream organisations, facilities and services do not meet the needs of people with disability, there are mechanisms in place to advocate and assist.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.44): Disruptions like COVID have a way of bringing clarity, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. This has certainly been true for many on a personal level, but it has likewise been true at the institutional level.

In the budget debate nine months ago, I reported that I had met with a group of stakeholders from the community sector. Unanimously, they had raised concerns about this government’s spending priorities. Specifically, they were worried about their ability to meet current and growing demand for essential community services. For years Labor and the Greens have allowed the sector to struggle. Indexation has

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