Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 846 ..
Until recently it was our understanding that SHOUT was going to apply under ILC to support its current activities. As I have said publicly, however, I have also been working with the health minister—and I know that this work has been ongoing for some time—to identify other potential sources of funding, because we did understand that many of the organisations that SHOUT supports are in the health sector.
I do need to go back to something that Ms Lee has said—and she has now said it on a number of occasions—quoting me as saying that I believed that SHOUT was panicking for no reason. I have not been able to find a source for that quote. I did state in the annual report hearings that I thought it was premature to be saying that any of the organisations currently receiving ILC transition funding were going to close. I did believe that it was premature at that time to be stating that any of these organisations were going to close.
As I have said, we were encouraging them all to apply for ILC transition funding—we had also been assured that they were going to do that—and it was a week until that funding application closed. I know that we are now in a different situation but I wanted to put that correction on the record.
As I have said, I have been working with Minister Fitzharris on this issue. We are both keen to ensure that we find a sustainable solution. The government remains committed to working with the community organisations that currently rely on SHOUT to ensure that they are supported and that the transition to any new funding arrangements is as smooth as possible.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.49): I welcome the opportunity to explain the Greens’ position on the question regarding funding for SHOUT and in addition provide my support for the government’s amendment. It is important to reiterate that the Greens recognise, appreciate and support the wide range of support services that SHOUT provides. SHOUT has been working with a range of self-help and peer support groups for people with disabilities, health and chronic conditions in the ACT for over 35 years. In addition to the infrastructure and administrative support that they provide, self-help groups like SHOUT also provide an extended social support system that is essential to the wellbeing of people with a disability and their families. There is no doubt that SHOUT provides valuable support for organisations in the community sector, many of whom are run and managed entirely by volunteers.
The question at the heart of this issue is where funding for these organisations should come from. Under the national disability insurance scheme, the NDIS, the ACT has been transitioning all disability services funding across to the National Disability Insurance Agency, the NDIA. Having previously been funded through Disability ACT, SHOUT is one of the organisations that will be affected by this transition and I understand that the government has been working with SHOUT to provide support in this challenging environment. Indeed this is what Minister Stephen-Smith has just been informing the Assembly about.
There is no doubt that the implementation of the NDIS has not been without challenges. As the first jurisdiction to undertake the full rollout of the NDIS, the