Page 942 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013

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and states that an agreement about a grant includes a condition that the person receiving the grant must comply with the standards.

Clause 6—section 11—deals with the disability service standards. Section 11 relates to disability service standards and states that the minister may approve standards about the provision of services for people with a disability and that approval may apply, adopt or incorporate an instrument as in force from time to time. That approval will be a disallowable instrument. Clause 6—section 12—provides a regulation-making power and states that the executive may make regulations for the act.

A regulation may make provisions in relation to standards including the following: entities that must comply with standards, performance measures for measuring compliance, monitoring of compliance with the standards, the enforcement of compliance with the standards and the consequences of failing to comply with those standards.

The status of standards will be strengthened by this bill by moving compliance from a contract to law. The proposed amendments do not add any additional regulatory obligations or administrative requirements for service providers and the existence of standards in legislation will support the delivery of quality services. The amendment will explicitly require service providers to comply with service standards.

In December of last year at the Council of Australian Governments meeting, the ACT, along with South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria, signed a multilateral agreement with the commonwealth government to become a launch site for the national disability insurance scheme. The NDIS is a major development for the disability sector and while it will provide significant benefits to people with a disability, it will be a major transition for the ACT government, the disability sector and for people with a disability.

The ACT government is committed to strong relationships with community partners and to engaging with the sector and individuals that are central to this scheme. Entrenching disability service standards in legislation is important to assist the ACT community sector to transition through to the full implementation of the NDIS in 2016. The absence of contractual arrangements with disability service providers makes the regulation-making powers of this amendment even more important to ensure that providers are operating within the national standards.

The transition to the full scheme of the NDIS will work to achieve national consistency in disability services and these amendments will support the effort by providing quality disability services in the ACT. The ACT government is committed to working with the community sector to ensure compliance with the standards and we will work with them once this is passed today.

The government’s bill builds on the work being undertaken in developing a best practice model of support for people with a disability. Finally, I would like to thank the officials for their work on these amendments and members for their comments and contributions here today. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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