Page 3068 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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Madam Assistant Speaker, I can tell you that there are problems. If the level of representations to my office is anything to go by, there are serious issues with service delivery at the Disability ACT level that are not being addressed. It is a case of the squeaky wheel getting oiled, and this just should not be the case.

Again, I will use this opportunity to raise the issue of a lack of interdepartmental engagement and whole-of-government approach. It seems that there is no guarantee that consistent information will be available across all agencies. The best illustration of these inconsistencies can be found in a constituent matter that was raised with me by a parent of a child with a disability who was forced to pay commercial registration fees for his wheelchair-accessible van. After five years of getting the run-around from Disability ACT and TAMS and after numerous letters to the Chief Minister, it was only when this matter was brought to my attention and I brought this matter up directly with the minister for disability and the department that I found they were still not aware of any solution.

It was only when I took this matter to the media that a solution suddenly surfaced from the Chief Minister’s office. My representations on behalf of a constituent led to an opportunity whereby the media was going to call on the constituent, and it was only then, after five years of being pushed from pillar to post, that this constituent was told: “There is a very simple solution. All you have to do is go to the motor registry and let people know what your situation is, let the manager of the motor registry know, and there is a discretionary power vested in the manager of the motor registry to actually fix your case.” It took five years of constant running around by this individual.

This person is not the only one with this problem, and this information about the discretionary powers was not public; it was not even in fine print. The left hand simply did not know what the right hand was doing. Even now, I do not believe that this has been addressed adequately. There are still people who need assistance in this regard.

There are major concerns brought to me by the community about the processes used by the department when it is necessary to modify an individual support package. I understand the difficulty in assessing the initial needs and that this will not be an exact science. However, there must be a better way to provide some room to move in this area.

I have been reminded on a number of occasions in recent times of the Gallop report into disability services which was tabled in this place in 2002. This was also mentioned during the estimates hearings. Sweeping changes were recommended to the agency, which at that time was called ACT Disability Services. The report detailed systemic mismanagement of service provision, and some reform has taken place. I would like to see, however, some reflection on these lessons learned way back in 2002 and an update from the current government on the recommendations agreed to in order to keep moving forward with reform.

Another issue that must be raised is the relocation of the equipment loan service and independent living centre—again, an example of the left hand not knowing what the

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