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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 18 February 2016) . . Page.. 595 ..

Whilst in my motion and in my speech in the Assembly last year I acknowledged the role of volunteers, as did Mr Gentleman in his statement today, it is great to recognise the contribution of volunteers in weed management and, specifically in the statement today, that 145 hectares have been controlled by Landcare volunteers. The government’s support for the role of volunteers is very welcome. However, it would be good to know how much this contribution of volunteers has increased as a proportion of the total weed management work. The government’s cutting back of weed management funding does not just reduce the amount of weed management; it increases the burden on many volunteers who undertake the work to help maintain the natural values of our bush capital. This is work volunteers are happy to do, but more and more the government are expecting them to undertake that work, work that previously was undertaken by the government but which, given their cuts in this area, they are unable to maintain.

It is good that the minister can point to dealing with weed emergencies, especially in relation to new incursions. This is necessary for a range of reasons. However, we also need ongoing management to reduce the spread of weeds already here. The failure to invest in ongoing invasive weed management only helps to build the seed bank for future years with the long-term decline of our natural areas and ongoing and increasing budget outlays. These were some of the points I tried to make in my original motion last year. They remain the same this year. I thank Minister Gentleman once again for his update and assure him that I, like him, will retain a keen and ongoing interest in this matter.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

National disability insurance scheme

Ministerial statement

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.27): Madam Deputy Speaker, I am pleased to provide the Assembly with a progress report on the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme in the ACT. In making this statement I would first like to acknowledge your good work as the previous Minister for Disability in establishing the ACT as one of the first NDIS sites in the country.

On 7 May and 4 June 2014 and 18 November 2015, in separate resolutions, the Assembly called for regular reports on the implementation of disability reform in the ACT. The government is delivering on its commitment to implement the NDIS and to provide people with disability and their families with more choice and control over their supports.

The National Disability Insurance Agency publishes ACT participant numbers for each quarter of the trial. These figures show that the ACT is outperforming other trial sites. For the latest report, the December 2015 quarter, the NDIA achieved 97 per cent of the ACT bilateral agreement target.

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