Page 394 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will the government ensure that the NDIS continues to provide better services and support for people with disability?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question. Each person’s NDIS journey is of course different and Community Services Directorate staff continue to provide advice and support in responding to individual client matters. One of the other ways we are working to improve services is to support service providers and families to reduce and eliminate restrictive practices, that is, behaviour management tools that deprive people of their liberty in some way. There is a consultation currently underway on this, seeking the views of all stakeholders, including people with disabilities, their families and carers, to establish how we go about overseeing the use of restrictive practices in the future and supporting their elimination over time.

At a broader level, state, territory and commonwealth disability ministers receive the report from the NDIA on performance each quarter. Through the Disability Reform Council I am able to raise policy matters with the NDIA and my state and territory colleagues to ensure that we address the concerns as they arise.

Last year, ministers also agreed to bring forward a planned review of the NDIS by the Productivity Commission. This review has now commenced and will provide a report in September. Its focus is on the sustainability of scheme costs, impact on mainstream services and whether efficiencies have been achieved. The ACT government will make a substantial submission to reflect the experiences and feedback of Canberrans with a disability, their families, carers and disability service providers.

I am determined to ensure that we understand the experience of Canberrans accessing the NDIS and use that information to inform our submission to the Productivity Commission. I will be working with the new disability reference group on this, but I encourage all members who receive feedback from constituents to let me know what you are hearing, so that we can put that information to good use.

The NDIS is making a real difference to the lives of many people with a disability and it is incumbent upon us all to support its implementation with honest feedback while understanding that it is a massive reform.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Answers to questions on notice

Question 1

MRS DUNNE: I seek an explanation under standing order 118A from the Minister for Health in relation to question on notice No 1, which was due for answer on 12 January, in relation to medical specialists.

MS FITZHARRIS: I apologise to Mrs Dunne. That question on notice was provided to me, I believe, late last week. I had some further clarifications done for your benefit, and I plan to sign it on returning to my office after question time. I apologise for the delay.

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