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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1155 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

To ensure that future policies are soundly based, Disability ACT is finalising a detailed profile of people with disabilities in the ACT. Information has been gathered from a variety of sources, including the ABS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. For the first time, we have a consolidated information base for policy development and program planning, as well as a benchmark to monitor future trends in disabilities.

The government is committed to improving the level of service delivery to those in our community who have unique needs. Discussions are continuing within Disability ACT on integrating the therapy services currently provided separately by the Child Health and Development Service and Disability ACT. This follows the convening of a working party and community consultation, to explore the efficacy of integrating child and adult therapy services.

I have previously referred to the additional $2.5 million provided in the last budget. With regard to child health, $500,000 has been allocated to early intervention services. This money is funding an early intervention playgroup and early intervention unit for children with autism, enabling the employment of additional psychologists, therapists and social workers.

The sum of $1 million has been allocated to the post-school options program to assist young people with a disability to transfer from school to employment and adulthood. The program currently has 44 participants. The remaining additional funding has been allocated to the disability sector for day support programs, high and complex needs clients and to progress reforms in sector development.

The board of inquiry demanded leadership and vision from government, to confront and tackle what it saw as a systematic breakdown in the provision of disability services in the territory. Today I have tabled a comprehensive report which reflects a fundamental shift in our approach to the provision of disability services. It is an approach built on respect for the views of people with disabilities and a commitment to community partnerships.

Given the complexity of the task, I believe we can be well satisfied with what has been achieved in the past six months. Importantly, we have a government and community framework in place, to build on the substantial work of the DRG and the progress of the reform agenda. People with disabilities, their families and carers can be assured that the Labor Government is absolutely committed to disability reform, building an integrated quality service that is accessible, transparent, flexible and responsive to need.

Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion authorising publication of the paper.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: I move:

That the paper be authorised for publication.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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