Page 612 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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I was pleased to be able to provide an update to the Assembly this week on the NDIS. Progress has been steady and we have been working with people with a disability, their families and their carers, and the sector more broadly, to make sure that we get this right. The NDIS means a doubling of investment across our disability sector. We will see more people enter the workforce and it will give people with a disability more choice over their services than ever before. Now, as I have indicated, over 100 organisations have registered to provide services and supports under the NDIS. This is a good outcome so far and reflects the long-held desire for people with a disability to have a greater choice here in the ACT.

Many of those services who have registered with the National Disability Insurance Agency are well-respected organisations and sole traders who are providing specialised services and carving out a niche for themselves here in Canberra. There are a lot of new services being offered for the first time and this provides exciting new options and opportunities both for people with a disability, their families and carers but also for the growth of the sector. Our early intervention sector has grown substantially, and families are now starting to access the new services that they have chosen for their children.

We have been supporting organisations to make the transition to the NDIS, and this year the commonwealth and ACT governments have invested $1.5 million to help service providers have a better understanding of their internal businesses and how they can adapt to the NDIS.

This record investment has supported 45 organisations so far, and the government has received excellent feedback from the organisations that have received this funding and support. To this end, I am pleased to say that we will fund another round of grants to further support sector development this year. I believe that by supporting our organisations to prepare for the NDIS we are supporting a more robust and effective sector here in the ACT.

This year we will see additional investment of $6.3 million from the commonwealth community sector development fund come into the ACT’s disability sector. This investment will provide more capacity-building initiatives for people with disability and grants to support organisations that want to host NDIS-related activities and events.

I am also excited to announce that the first ACT NDIS conference will be held at the National Convention Centre on 23 and 24 March. This will be a great event, with something for everyone who is interested in the NDIS. I am very proud of the progress towards the NDIS that we are taking here in the ACT. Make no mistake: we are unique because we will be the first jurisdiction to achieve full rollout across our community and our service system for people with a disability, their families and carers. I am very proud of being that jurisdiction.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what current projects through Disability ACT will support growth and renewal in the disability sector in the ACT?

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