Page 3217 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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As we continue this work, the significance of this complex social reform to the way in which disability care and support are funded becomes more apparent. The ACT is at the forefront of the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme in Australia, not only as the first jurisdiction to agree to be a launch site but the first whole-of-jurisdiction rollout.

Since my last update in this place, I am pleased to note that there is now a national disability insurance scheme launch site agreed in all states. The ACT is fortunate in that we will learn from those jurisdictions that commenced their launch this year as well as inform DisabilityCare Australia on the full jurisdictional impacts.

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the Assembly about the extensive work and achievements to date on the following issues: the grant round known as the enhanced service offer, innovations in housing for people with a disability, the work of the NDIS task force and advocacy organisations with people with a disability and their families and carers to support decision making, and sector development work with service providers to help transform their organisations and businesses.

There has been a tremendous response by the people in our community with disability and psychosocial disability to the enhanced service offer grants. I think it is testament to how well people are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by greater choice and control.

This represents $7.7 million invested in one-off grants to eligible people in the ACT for supports which will improve their quality of life and independence while also providing a break for their families. Some 1,323 people submitted more than 2,300 applications for grants under the ESO. They consisted of 698 applications for aids and equipment, 947 applications for quality of life grants and 724 applications for flexible supports and services.

The ACT developed this initiative to prepare people with disability and psychosocial disability in the ACT and providers for individualised funding arrangements under DisabilityCare Australia. The grants were broadly advertised through radio, newspapers, the Koori Mail, Medicare Local, pharmacies, libraries, schools, health and therapy services and sites, multicultural groups and leaders, and community groups for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Over 400 people with very diverse needs and backgrounds and 120 workers from community and government organisations attended community information sessions about the grants and how to assist people to apply. Eighteen workshop sessions were held for people who need assistance and a computer to complete their application for round 1. The ACT NDIS task force and the team of six individual planners have worked through the housing gateway, the Rainbow Room in Watson, Carers ACT and the disability information support hub to meet people and provide information.

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