Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 848 ..
It is not realistic or appropriate for the ACT government to provide funding for organisations whose services are covered by the remit of the NDIS. Funding for these organisations is now the responsibility of the commonwealth through the NDIA, following the bilateral agreement which was reached in 2012.
However I recognise that some organisations will require greater support to adjust to the new funding environment. The government can and must ensure that organisations like SHOUT have information, and assistance where necessary, to apply for NDIA funding to continue their important work. To date the government has in fact demonstrated a willingness to assist SHOUT and other organisations with this process and has negotiated an extension to transition funding arrangements, which is just one example of this support. I am pleased that the government has said today that it will continue this approach by working with SHOUT and its member organisations to explore other options for funding and assist with a smooth transition to new arrangements.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.55): I rise today in support of Minister Stephen-Smith’s amendment to this important motion and to make a few further comments to both build on her comments and elaborate further on those matters relating to me and the Health portfolio. As Minister Stephen-Smith and my predecessor have said, we appreciate the long years of service that SHOUT has provided to its member organisations and I know that it is well loved by those members.
We all agree in this place that the NDIS is bringing fantastic new opportunities to people with disability. In making the decision to join the NDIS, I know we are doing the right thing for the people of the ACT now and into the future but, as members have noted, there have been some hiccups along the way.
With reforms such as the NDIS, things do not stay the same and it is simply not possible for the ACT government to maintain, post transition, everything that came before. However I am confident, as are my colleagues, that there is a role here for organisations like SHOUT who do not necessarily provide direct service provision to people with a disability or with chronic healthcare conditions but nonetheless provide valuable support and advice for self-help organisations. There is no doubt that organisations such as these, known as information, linkages and capacity building organisations, are vital to the proper care and support of people with a disability.
That is why, from the very beginning, the government made clear that change was coming. The government worked hard with these organisations to support them through the transition and the many challenges these opportunities posed. The government established the ACT sector development fund to give community organisations the resources to explore new business models and embrace new technologies to keep them strong and viable in the new environment.
As we have transitioned to the NDIS, and have fully passed our funding to the commonwealth through the National Disability Insurance Agency, it is now up to the