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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2015) . . Page.. 4132 ..

confidence in the providers that we source those casual staff from. There will always need to be good systems in place so that when casual staff come on, we address that and put it in place. I believe Disability ACT has that.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, will you guarantee that there is an appropriate number of suitably trained, adequately prepared disability support workers currently in the employ of Disability ACT? Is there sufficient expertise within the sector as we progress the NDIS transition?

MS BURCH: I believe that we do have the skills and expertise within Disability ACT. Certainly, if there are areas needing capacity development, they will step up and do that. We have made a decision here to get out of live, direct disability service provision, and we will do that by June of next year. That is a very big change. In that regard, it is about preparing the community sector and making sure that their organisations and their workforce have those systems in place. That is why we have continued to work with the community sector, with significant funds provided by the commonwealth, to make sure that the sector is indeed prepared.

Just recently, a week or so ago, I launched two great projects. One was Opening Doors, with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community a particular target, to make sure that organisations that respond to their needs are culturally safe and competent in delivering that service. The other was Ready4. That will be a partnership between RSM Bird, ACTCOSS and our local national disability service group. That is about working one on one with organisations. Where there are like-minded organisations with a common goal, we will come together and make sure that they have the skills ready to respond to community need.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, does the government have a retention strategy to retain an adequate number of suitably trained and prepared staff to work in ACT group homes until the full transition of these services to the NDIS in 2017? If so, will you table this strategy in the Assembly?

MS BURCH: I refer those opposite back to the annual reports briefing where the transition from disability support to the community sector was discussed and there was some commentary about how we are supporting our staff, training opportunities and the like; are we making sure that those staff who want to stay within the business of service delivery in disability when it moves from government to the community know that that is put in place.

We have had conversations with all our staff. They are planning their own future. Some will deploy across the ACT public sector. Others will move into the community sector. Some may just take the opportunity perhaps to retire, to seek another bit of business.

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