Page 3001 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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MS BURCH: I thank Mr Wall for his question. I think it is a work in progress. Certainly, DisabilityCare will cover most, or a significant number of, folk with a disability in the ACT. But there will still need to be a directorate function with an agency about a broader disability strategy that is not captured by the service provision within DisabilityCare.

There is no doubt that the direct employment of many disability support officers may change and the role and function of Disability ACT will certainly change. We will continue to have a presence, as will Therapy ACT, but that presence and functions will no doubt change.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, when will the DisabilityCare office commence operation in the territory, and are any locations currently sited?

MS BURCH: It is very early in discussions, but, as I understand it, they are looking to have a presence come the end of this year to give them a six-month presence in the ACT. These are very early discussions at this time. Certainly I and a number of officials have a very strong interest in having them co-located in Conservation House with Disability ACT so those natural partnerships can grow and develop, but it is early days.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, when will individuals be able to meet with DisabilityCare Australia here in the ACT to begin planning for their own transition to the new funding model?

MS BURCH: It is something that has been raised with me, which is why I would like to see a presence established by the end of this year. Certainly, as we have moved through the enhanced service offer, I am very pleased to note that there were over 1,300 applications for the enhanced service offer for the first round. So that tells me two things. One is that our information session and how we promoted those grants worked. It also indicates the level of interest people have in the ACT about enhanced and improved services.

As part of the enhanced service offers we employed individual planners. So some of that early thinking, that early work with clients and their families about how they start to think differently about choice and control, has indeed started through the enhanced service offer. As I said, DisabilityCare is yet to be formally structured. I would like to see it here by the end of the year so that process can start.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what are the key advantages of the move to DisabilityCare under the NDIS?

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