Page 2664 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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multicultural character. The budget responds to the voices of the multicultural community gathered during many consultations in the past year. This financial year the government will continue to invest in a range of programs and activities designed to celebrate our cultural diversity and support members of our community to take up the opportunities that a thriving and progressive city offer.

In this context we will continue our strong support for the flagship National Multicultural Festival in 2016. In recognition of the countless smaller events which occur all year round, the government will continue to support community organisations through an allocation of $260,000 under the multicultural participation grants program. The budget also continues funding for the vital Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services, Multicultural Youth Services and the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum.

Finally, this year we will see the government continue with major funding and reform commitments to support those who are doing it tough in our community. Throughout this work, we have a very strong focus on partnership and collaboration with the fine community organisations who deliver these services. We are improving how we work across government and, importantly, with non-government service providers. The budget continues this process. Major reforms such as the NDIS, which Minister Burch has just spoken about, and a step up for our kids demand new ways of working; the government is committing to supporting the sustainability of our sector in this time of change.

Through the 2015-16 ACT budget, we have invested $1.2 million to continue to transform service delivery across government under the better services initiative, to reduce what can sometimes be a complex array of services for those with multiple needs or complex needs; to improve integration among the many services that we fund; and to put community needs at the centre of designing our local services system. Through the trio of better services initiatives—the one human services gateway, strengthening families, and the west Belconnen local services network—we are reshaping support for the people in our community who need a hand up.

Another piece of major work has been our work with the community sector to deliver significant reforms. I note Ms Lawder’s comments about recommendation 78, about providing details of what was planned for the funds already collected. I note in the government’s response that this information was provided during questions in the 2015-16 budget estimates process, which was a consolidated reconciliation of the use of the funds that had already been collected as well as planned expenditure for the remaining funds. I want to remind Ms Lawder of what happened in estimates.

Also, through the reform program to date we have achieved more than $2.6 million of red tape savings in time and administrative effort for community organisations, through changes to procurement, contracting and reporting.

The strengths of the community sector lie in its values base, its expertise, its intimate knowledge of people’s needs, and its ability to build relationships across agencies to facilitate innovation and new ideas. To support the growth and promotion of these strengths, the government has committed to work with the sector on a human services industry plan. The objective of the plan is to jointly develop a strategy that clearly

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