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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 March 2015) . . Page.. 1017 ..

their families and carers. The government here is investing in and supporting individuals and organisations to create a diverse, effective and sustainable local disability sector to give people with a disability more choice and control. The ACT’s local disability sector is diverse, strong and valued by our community. There are many services in the ACT that have deep connections across the community and they are the foundation to the services that are offered today.

Koomarri, for example, has operated in the ACT for over 50 years. It has evolved over the years and adapted to the changing landscape, providing opportunities for people with a disability to develop social networks and supports that enable them to take part in community life, employment and supported accommodation. Hartley LifeCare, a highly respected and essential service, was established in the 1960s to provide long-term accommodation for Canberrans with physical disabilities. It provides year-round 24-hour specialised and centre-based accommodation. Sharing Places has been operating in Canberra for over 25 years, providing essential community-based support.

There are other organisations that are also reshaping. DUO was established last year when Tandem and Home Help Service ACT merged. The organisations came together to strengthen their operations and to fulfil their missions of supporting people with a disability who are socially isolated from their community. Most recently, Citizens Advice Bureau ACT and Volunteering ACT merged to become Volunteering and Contact ACT, a service that provides free, confidential and impartial information, referral and support to the ACT community.

The ACT government is looking to the future and is working collaboratively with the local disability sector to strengthen its sustainability and its diversity. The local disability sector will become the central providers of specialist disability and therapy services and early intervention services. We did this to help maximise the potential of the NDIS and the principles it is built on—principles such as choice and control. That is why the ACT government is committed to diversifying the market, so that we can provide choice and control for people with disability.

The NDIS trial was launched in the ACT in July of last year. The ACT government is investing in the community sector development program to support the local disability sector to mature. We continue to work with the local disability sector to ensure that participants and providers are well placed to transition and thrive in the NDIS environment.

The commonwealth and ACT governments are investing $21.8 million to prepare the ACT sector and people with disability for the NDIS. There is $9.3 million for enhanced services in the ACT, including $7.7 million for the enhanced service offer grants, which are now completed, and $12.5 million from the national sector development fund for services here in the ACT.

Sector development funding will strengthen the ACT community to ensure that it is ready for the NDIS. It includes $500,000 that was initially invested to build the capacity of ACT residents with disability to gain maximum benefit from their engagement with the NDIS. The projects funded through this allocation focused on people with a disability, including people with a psychosocial disability. This includes

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