Page 2068 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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With the ACT’s transition to the NDIS we are fundamentally reforming the way disability services are funded and delivered. The cornerstone of the NDIS is that of choice and control. This means the market needs to respond to the diverse needs and preferences of people with disabilities.

During this fundamental reform the ACT government has focused our efforts on supporting the 59,200 Canberrans with disability living in the ACT. Disability ACT remains committed to providing the best possible support to eligible clients, guardians, carers, family members and supporters. I am proud to say we are certainly on the road to ensuring that all eligible participants will have appropriate access to NDIS supports.

This has been a collaborative process, as improving the lives of people with disability is the responsibility of all members of a socially inclusive society: families, carers, support workers, employers, community organisations, non-government organisations, community members and government.

Members would be aware that the National Disability Insurance Agency publishes ACT participant numbers for each quarter of the trial. These figures continue to show that the ACT is outperforming other trial sites. For the seventh quarter, the figures for which were published in March 2016, the NDIA achieved 94 per cent of the ACT bilateral agreement target.

I am pleased to advise members that the ACT NDIS trial is progressing extremely well, with all eligible ACT participants on track to be in the NDIS by the end of the first quarter in 2016-17, in line with our commitment under the bilateral agreement for the NDIS launch.

With the implementation of the NDIS in the ACT, people living with disability in Canberra will be provided with a range of supports. This includes support to engage with education and training; participate in recreation, sporting and social events; and live independently.

We know that the transition to the NDIS has been a major change for community organisations and individuals across Canberra. However, we believe the lives of Canberrans living with disability will be better for these changes.

The implementation of a sector development program which focuses on the capability of community organisations in areas such as governance, financial management, collaboration and strategic risk planning began early in our NDIS trial. The ACT NDIS Taskforce will continue to deliver this program, with focused and intensive support for shared learnings, collaboration and strategic alliances across disability and non-disability organisations in the community sector.

In April 2016, I attended the launch of the report on the economic benefits of the NDIS in the ACT, commissioned by National Disability Services and Every Australian Counts, which outlines the economic benefits of the NDIS in the ACT. The report estimates that the benefits of $367 million annually will be contributed to the

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