Page 1499 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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The Canberra Business Chamber is another leading light. In May this year the chamber and the ACT Inclusion Council jointly hosted a workshop with over 70 attendees from businesses, community and government to discuss the economic opportunities that the national disability insurance scheme will bring to the territory. Glenn Keys, chair of the Canberra Business Chamber and board member of the NDIA, discussed how the ACT was leading the nation as the first whole jurisdiction to roll out the NDIS and how this presents opportunities for businesses.

On Wednesday this week Ron Bell from the Real Estate Institute of the ACT led a discussion with over 70 real estate agents, private landlords and investors on the benefits of renting to people with disabilities in the ACT. Norm Honey from the Independent Property Group spoke about the opportunity and the obligation of the real estate industry to get behind and deliver the principles of the NDIS.

What is common to all these Canberra inclusion champions is that they are ordinary people who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people with disability and this community. They believe in the strength of their convictions and carry an optimism that engenders support from others. They have strong beliefs in the strengths and inherent value of people with disability. Through the ACT disability inclusion statement, anyone or any organisation can be an inclusion champion. The ACT government will create a web platform and social movement that will give people the tools to make small and big changes that create a more accessible and inclusive community for everyone.

Madam Speaker, the time is right for the ACT to lead the nation in fostering an inclusive and equitable community. As a government, we are ready for the challenges ahead and are committed to working with people with disability, business and community to co-design and implement the ACT disability inclusion statement to deliver positive and practical actions for the 57,500 people with disability who live in the ACT.

We recognise that inclusion is a shared responsibility of government and community. The ACT disability inclusion statement will create a platform for community action. It is the ACT government’s goal that we have all the tools and opportunity to continue making Canberra the best city in the world to live in. I am reminded of the words of a well-known ACT disability advocate, Louise Bannister, when she was asked what inclusion means to her. She said:

Inclusion means to me that I can just go out there, go wherever I want to go and do whatever I want to do.

This is our vision for Canberra, a socially inclusive and equitable community.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (12.11): I rise to speak with great caution to this motion today because there continues to be a great deal of aspirational language used by the minister in the motion and in the ministerial statement she made in regard to the inclusion statement. Once again we see this government tending to head towards an overreach. While the statement itself is steering a little away from the usual formula

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