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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2580 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

training will be implemented progressively over the next few months. They also have introduced more front-line managers.

A program education officer has also been appointed to the human resources development team and is working to improve arrangements for staff training by developing a workplace-based training program to enhance the application of skills and knowledge. The program also includes the development of a mechanism for continuous assessment of new staff while they are on probation.

Mr Speaker, there is also a review of staffing to ensure long-term staff are properly trained. The disability program has already introduced performance development planning for all staff, which provides the opportunity for both new and long-term staff to identify and address training and development needs.

Additionally, a proposal has been considered by the quality improvement committee for the establishment of a continuous learning program developed for all staff through ongoing weekly skill and practice workshops. That one is before the quality improvement committee.

Mr Speaker, that is not enough. The fifth recommendation of the coroner which talked about a review of training process has also been taken into account. There are many that overlap with Justice Gallop's.

The provision of services to people with a disability in a complex and changing environment requires a careful balance between ensuring clients' safety and promoting independence and normalisation, as we know. Certainly Justice Gallop has emphasised safety. The program has taken clear and decisive action to ensure that this balance is more carefully calibrated along the lines of safety. It has included reviewing and modifying training in this area.

In July 2000 the program modified its structure to ensure human resource development areas co-managed with service delivery, and the new manager appointed in April 2001 is progressively reviewing and improving all aspects of staff training and development. It has included an overhaul of our comprehensive induction program, making it much more on the job and putting a greater emphasis on communication and risk awareness.

Mr Speaker, there are many, many other improvements being put into place in the disability program at the moment.

I want to add something else that I think is important. I think it is important to understand that since I have been minister we have taken disability in this territory extraordinarily seriously. At a time when we were trying to get the budget under control because of the $344 million operating loss that we were left with, we have increased the budget to disabilities by over 42 per cent. That is something of which I am incredibly proud. There has been a significant improvement.

Mr Speaker, I use this opportunity-I will be very brief-to let you know that last year the disability program surveyed residents about how they rated disability program. 65.7 per cent of respondents rated the ACT disability program as 7 out of 10 or better. This year a Datacol report that has just been completed has a very significantly improved

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