Page 2468 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 July 2008

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Mr Brough, at the time, laying an ultimatum on the table at a ministerial meeting and then walking out. At this meeting, on 30 May, I think it was, state and territory ministers met with the commonwealth to talk on how we can better support families who require support and to talk about the allocation of the Australian government’s $1 billion commitment to families, their carers and people with a disability.

Under the previous federal government, we had been told that whatever we put on the table the commonwealth government would match. As a result, the ACT government did inject $15.8 million in the 2007-08 budget into disability services. That money has already gone out and been allocated to families and to non-government organisations to provide additional individual support packages, more respite care, more accommodation support places and increased community access places.

Under the agreement that we have reached with the commonwealth, we will get $15.23 million to go to all of the areas that we had already applied money to; so we had our money matched. This is a really significant injection of resources into the disability sector. In addition, the commonwealth will provide us with $1.69 million of capital funding which will be used, again, to provide additional accommodation options.

Throughout the country, once all states and territories and the commonwealth’s money is put together, it will provide an extra 2,300 in-home support places, 2,300 supported accommodation places, 9,900 individual support packages and 10,000 more, much-needed respite places. This has been a very significant result, I think, for families and people with a disability. Many people with a disability and their families were present at this meeting, awaiting the outcome because of the long delay in negotiating the commonwealth-state-territory disability agreement. But we have got through that now.

We have got a pretty good allocation. I am sure we would have liked some more; we certainly sought some more. But I think, at the end of the day, it was a fair result for the ACT. It will complement the money that we have already put into meeting our unmet needs that we know about and increasing the capacity of non-government organisations to provide further support options for people. We need to keep working on it.

One of the areas that we certainly know we need to do more on is post-school options and looking at those people that are coming through the education system and moving into needing further daytime support and accommodation support as parents age and the people with a disability themselves age. Certainly, I argued long and hard for a good deal for the ACT.

This agreement will deliver, over the next four or five years, an additional $30 million in funding for people with a disability, their families and their carers. I think it is an important achievement that we have been able to make, and we have been able to do it by federal, state and territory governments working together.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms MacDonald.

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