Page 1311 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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espoused at the time and I have repeated it since. I would welcome the opportunity of debate in the Assembly on that particular motion at an appropriate time.

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

National disability strategy 2010-20

Statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women), by leave: In February this year the commonwealth, state and territory governments signed into effect a new national disability strategy. The strategy is intended to guide public policy within and across governments around creating inclusive and accessible communities, promoting the rights of people with a disability, removing barriers to economic participation, enhancing opportunities to live independently and providing opportunities for lifelong learning and access to quality health provision.

This initiative demonstrates a shared vision among all governments of an inclusive Australian society that enables people with a disability to achieve their full potential as equal citizens and recognises the diversity of experiences of people with a disability. Implementation of the strategy will not be confined to the disability sector. It will require whole-of-government, industry and community involvement to achieve its goal to increase the participation of people with a disability in mainstream society and services.

The ACT government, through the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, is already making progress towards achieving the strategy’s aims. In September 2009 the ACT government released Future directions: towards challenge 2014, which is a policy framework to improve outcomes and opportunities for Canberrans who have a disability. This framework guides the priority areas for disability policy and service delivery in the ACT through to 2014. In the development of Future directions consultations were held with people with a disability, their families and carers, government and non-government agencies. Their input informed the policy framework, ensuring that the issues and priorities of constituents were consistent with our Future directions.

Future directions reflects the bigger vision of an inclusive Australia. We are optimistic that the ACT is already achieving the objectives in the national disability strategy that align with Future directions initiatives. These include future planning—a whole-of-life approach to assist in the planning for life transitions, such as leaving school, starting employment, beginning a relationship, leaving home, starting a family and growing old—and the no wrong doors policy, which is aimed at improving access to mainstream and specialist services and information.

We welcomed the launch of the companion card scheme in September 2009. This scheme continues to promote social participation at ticketed activities, events or venues for people with a disability who require someone to support them. We applaud

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