Page 763 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe and Dr Bourke!

MS BURCH: and engage directly with stakeholders. The government and the National Disability Insurance Agency are both committed to building a scheme that is equitable and sustainable here in Canberra. We have made the decisions necessary to ensure that the ACT disability sector adheres—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!

MS BURCH: to the fundamental principles of the NDIS.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what will this mean for existing clients of Disability ACT and their families and how are you keeping them up to date on the transition?

MS BURCH: As I said, the government has made the decision to gradually withdraw from the provision of specialist disability and therapy services over the next three years. This gradual change will ensure that the people who use accommodation support have the opportunity to decide on a new service provider. We are supporting all Disability ACT clients and their families through this change.

Clients already in receipt of accommodation support from Disability ACT can continue choosing them as a provider until the end of June 2017 should they wish to do so. During this time we expect that other services will begin to enter the market, offering alternative accommodation services. Every person in Disability ACT supported accommodation, their parents or guardians, are being contacted about the government’s decision. Disability ACT has met with parents and guardians in the lead-up to this decision and managers are going back to the people in each household to talk about the changes being gradually introduced.

I have attended meetings with families supported by Disability ACT to hear first hand their concerns about this decision and to talk to them about what it will mean for them. For therapy services, too, we are talking to clients about the changes and what they mean for them. We have established an information hub—a hotline—in the Community Services Directorate. That number is open to anyone who has any questions.

We are working with all those that we support to plan this transition and to ensure that people with a disability are at the forefront, to ensure that this transition to another system goes as smoothly as possible and provides the opportunities that they rightly deserve.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

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