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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3187 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Commonwealth also funds and administers disability employment services for people in the ACT. Funding for the employment services is made at the aggregate level, and no separate allocation of funds for the ACT is available.

Specifically, the Commonwealth/State/Territory Disability Agreement sets out the arrangements for funding and administering disability services in Australia. Under the CSTDA, the Commonwealth has responsibility for employment and vocational training services, while the states and territories have responsibility for accommodation, respite and other support services. The Commonwealth, states and territories have joint responsibility for advocacy services.

Within the multilateral agreement, the Commonwealth and state and territory governments have agreed on the incremental implementation of five strategic policy priorities. These aim to strengthen access to generic services for people with disabilities; strengthen across-government linkages; strengthen individuals, families and carers; improve long-term strategies to respond to, and manage demand for, specialist disability services; and to improve accountability, performance reporting and quality.

The bilateral agreement addresses, in greater detail, issues of joint concern to the ACT and the Commonwealth, and is intended to develop processes to address these areas of concern. It introduces arrangements for joint planning on issues of common interest, such as improving advocacy, stronger complaints policies and quality assurance.

The ACT is particularly interested in collaborating with the Commonwealth on consultative mechanisms with consumers; transition of young people from school to alternative options; strategies to improve aged care/disability services; interface strategies to improve coordination between employment services and territory disability services; and, finally, improve long-term strategies for managing demand for specialist disability services.

The issues identified in both agreements correspond with the key strategies already identified by the ACT in the government response to the report into disability services, Steps to Reform and the Vision and Values for Disability in the ACT.

I am pleased we have been able to reach a resolution on these agreements, enabling us to continue the important task of delivering high-quality services and support for people with a disability, their families and communities in the ACT. I table the statement. I present the following paper:

Commonwealth/State/Territory Disability Agreement-Ministerial statement.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Burke ) adjourned to the next sitting.

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