Page 354 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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Here in the ACT, two shopfronts, on Northbourne Avenue and in Belconnen, are now welcoming people with a disability on a daily basis. And, based on the quarterly report for the first three months of the trial, 103 individual plans have now been approved and there have been 242 access requests lodged.

The NDIS planning process is new for many people and it does provide an opportunity to consider life goals and supports that may be included in an individual’s plan. It is really pleasing to see more than 100 organisations have now been registered with the NDIA to deliver services to ACT NDIS participants.

A joint investment in the scheme in the ACT by the 2019-20 fiscal year is anticipated to be $342 million, of which the ACT government provides 49 per cent, $167 million, and the commonwealth provides 51 per cent, $175 million. It is pleasing to see collaboration between the two levels of government with the commonwealth and the ACT investing $21.8 million to prepare the ACT sector and people with a disability for the NDIS. And this includes $9.43 million from the ACT and commonwealth governments through funding for enhanced services in the territory, including $7.7 million for enhanced service offer grants.

$12.5 million from the commonwealth has been allocated to the national sector development fund for the territory. This sector development funding has gone to initiatives such as capacity building workshops and community conversations to prepare people for the NDIS; the NDIS organisational readiness toolkit to help services prepare for the NDIS; a series of governance and financial management packages of $20,000 each, 25 allocated in 2014; and a business investment package of $50,000 each, of which 20 were allocated in 2014. $6.3 million in sector development funding was recently agreed by the commonwealth for new participant readiness and market development initiatives.

The ACT will be the first jurisdiction to accept all eligible residents into the scheme by mid-2016 and more than 5,000 people will gradually transition to the NDIS according to their age or life stage to ensure that the scheme is equitable and sustainable. The next people to transition to the NDIS include all school-age children, people aged between 49 and 62, and group homes where the youngest resident is aged between 26 and 36. Group home residents will transition to the NDIS based on the age of the youngest person living in the home. Of course, in this instance “group home” refers to residents who have very high support needs and receive close to 24 hours a day, seven days a week support, provided either by Disability ACT or by a community service provider.

I take the opportunity this morning to congratulate Minister Burch on all of her efforts to make the NDIS a reality and indeed a highly functioning program in the territory. I commend the minister for her work to date and for what I know will be continuing close attention to the rollout of one of the most important social policy programs this country has seen in this century, and I thank her for her efforts.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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