Page 350 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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that they had previously missed out on as final funding was acquitted. In total we had 2,320 people apply for a grant—some more than once. A total of 1,349 people were offered a grant. This is a great result and I hope it has helped people to prepare for the NDIS, which is what it was designed to do.

In addition to the enhanced service offer, we will continue to see record investment being made in preparation for the NDIS. $4.4 million in sector development funding has gone towards a number of initiatives, including capacity building workshops and community conversations, to prepare people for the NDIS; $20,000 governance and financial management package grants for service providers—25 have been allocated so far, at a total cost of $500,000; $50,000 business investment package grants for service providers—20 have been allocated so far at a cost of $1 million; an analysis of the impact of the NDIS on volunteering and philanthropic investment; an NDIS Aboriginal outreach worker, to support the community in preparing for the NDIS and link to the NDIA; and a workforce awareness project to develop resources for managers, educators and trainers who need to know about the NDIS.

A further $6.3 million in sector development funding was recently approved by the commonwealth for additional participant readiness and market development initiatives. This investment will involve consultation with stakeholders and will include initiatives such as building individual and community capacity for people with disability and psychosocial disability, bringing business to disability, and preparing the workforce for person-centred planning.

A grants program valued at $100,000 has also been prepared to support NDIS eligible participants, their families and other unpaid carers to attend conferences, training and assistance. Grants will also be available to organisations hosting NDIS-related conferences and events here in the ACT.

The government continues to work with the sector to prepare for the NDIS. When it comes to the number of service providers that are offering services under the NDIS, it is great to see the list growing every week. There are now more than 100 providers registered with the NDIA to provide services to NDIS participants. And we are seeing new specialist providers emerge and growth in particular service clusters such as early intervention.

Madam Speaker, I would like to talk now about funding contracts because this is an important issue for the ACT government and service providers. As you know, community organisations have previously received block funding from the ACT government to provide services for people with disability. This was a rationed system, and one we know resulted in unmet need in our community. The money the ACT government previously gave to organisations to provide services to people with disability will now go to the NDIA, so they can give it to people directly.

As a result the government has worked hard to model a step-down approach to funding agreements with organisations that corresponds to the NDIS participant phasing schedule. As a result, all contracts are expected to cease by 30 September 2016 and by this time all 5,075 eligible people should have phased to the NDIS.

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