Page 529 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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a commitment to measuring our progress so that we are clear about the difference we are making in people’s lives. Working closely with the local community sector will be central to achieving this. I commend the motion to the chamber.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (5.34): I rise today in support of Ms Porter’s motion on this very important issue of community services and the ACT government’s history of commitment to a strong partnership that we have formed with our not-for-profit community sector. I commend Ms Porter for her continuous support of our community organisations and recognise the work she did in those organisations before she entered this place.

Over my time as a minister, I have seen firsthand the great work done by charities, not-for-profits and community organisations in our city. These organisations deserve recognition, especially in a time when many organisations are facing an environment of rising demand and ongoing commonwealth funding uncertainty.

In particular, I want to reiterate Ms Porter’s recognition of the strong partnerships that exist between the ACT government and the community not-for-profit sector. We are partners in delivering positive outcomes for disadvantaged people in our community. The future role of government will not be limited to that of funder and purchaser; we will be co-investors, with the community sector, in positive social impacts and outcomes.

This will require a mature relationship built on trust, cooperation and mutual determination. This relationship is already strong in the ACT. We recognise that there is room for improvement and considerable opportunity to grow and prosper together. The government is working with local community services to create a society where everybody has the opportunity to participate and benefit equally—socially, culturally, and economically.

This Labor government has a proven history of working with and supporting our not-for-profit sector. We have supported countless organisations to provide services to those in our community who are most vulnerable and those in our community who simply need some additional support.

This government has invested millions of dollars in programs and services designed not only to support our local community but to ensure that they have a thriving and well-supported community sector. In a recent announcement, there was an investment of $16 million in the “A step up for kids” program, a program Mr Gentleman would have the absolute pleasure and pride to deliver, to make sure that this investment supports the most vulnerable in our community.

Additionally, we have seen investment in the national disability insurance scheme which will not only see reform in the way services are provided to people with a disability but also, over time, see enormous growth in the market. Indeed, the level of funding which this government has committed to the NDIS is unprecedented and demonstrates this Labor government’s support of the long-term viability of the not-for-profit community sector.

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