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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3649 ..

Despite being a robust strategy developed with those living with a disability here in the ACT currently, according to the government’s own progress report only three of the 25 priorities have been fully developed. It is surprising—or perhaps not really—that no money has been appropriated for the implementation of this strategy. This is another area where the government is not delivering in a timely manner.

The vision for the new National Disability Strategy states that, as a country, we will move towards an inclusive Australian society that enables people with a disability to reach their full potential as equal members of the community. It is vital for those in the ACT living with a disability to have their needs considered in each of the areas mentioned today. It is surprising then for the government not to include further funding for organisations supporting those living with a disability to enable this to happen.

It is also surprising that the government failed to provide funding for each of the overarching strategies to guide how these will be realised and to prioritise their implementation. This is another example of this government’s failing to deliver its promises and provide for the community in a timely manner.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (5.15): I rise today to speak to this year’s budget in relation to disability carers and multicultural affairs. Before jumping into my pre-prepared notes, I would just like to take a moment to reflect on some of Mr Milligan’s comments. I particularly welcome his commitment to the National Disability Strategy, a new one being brought in, considering the existing one expired in 2020. It will be long considered something that needs to be put in place and I am very glad the federal government is getting a move on, seeing as the other one has expired and is no longer current.

As to Mr Milligan’s call that the ACT government should be committing funding to do a local one, an ACT one, while I can agree with that, it is very hard to commit funding to something that you have been waiting on for a very long time and that sets the direction for what you are trying to do. In place of having that, I am very glad that the ACT government has been working at improving the lives of people with disability within the ACT for many years, and looking not just within the disability budget columns but also in all the other areas of the budget where people’s lives are impacted and can make their day-to-day existence much easier.

It is fair to say, I think, anyone with an experience even adjacent to the spaces understands that people’s needs are not limited to just one directorate and will intersect with almost every single branch of what the ACT government does. It is, therefore, necessary to identify some of the broader parts of this budget that will go to improving the lives of people with disability and their carers.

In the first instance, I am very pleased to note the government will continue to provide ongoing funding for Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT to provide sexual health education, information and support services for people with disability. I am also similarly pleased to report that included in the budget is $3.6 million for COVID mental health support package funding. It is a commitment to prioritise Canberrans

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