Page 852 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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Friends of Brain Injured Children, Bosom Buddies, Brain Tumour Alliance and PWD ACT.

For some families and people with disability, when they encounter their disability for the first time, either as a parent or another family member or as the individual themselves, it is like their whole life lies ahead of them as a journey without a map. These information and referral services can help them to sketch out a road map of where they need to go in future. They can talk with other people who have been through the same thing. For some people, that is so incredibly powerful. Many people feel that they are alone; they do not have anyone to turn to for information. These groups provide those linkages to other people in the community and provide that really vital information.

My colleague Ms Lee referred to the minister’s information today as disingenuous. I think Ms Fitzharris talked about disappointing comments. I would go a lot further than disingenuous. To me, it is disgusting. It is despicable, and it is incredibly damaging, potentially, to people with disability and their families and the organisations that have been built from the ground up over many decades to support these people.

We all know that people with disability want the same things in life as other people. They want the opportunity to live an ordinary life—that is, to have housing, to have a job, to have a good education and to have linkages within the community. These groups help to provide that service. I feel very strongly that we, as the Assembly, as representatives of our community, should not be talking about the federal government dealing with this. These are our people. We should not be abandoning them for the sake of a political point. I urge you to support Ms Lee’s motion.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.12): I realise I have been here before, Madam Assistant Speaker. No more than a year or so ago I stood in this place and, as a volunteer for radio for the print handicapped, moved a motion that called for 1RPH to continue to receive ACT government funding because it was one of the orphan organisations that were created through the implementation of the NDIS. These organisations have been called lots of things and “orphan” probably fits the bill. It is an unchanging title.

The government at the time was equivocal and would not support ongoing funding for radio for the print handicapped. Again, they are another longstanding institution here in the ACT. They eventually came up with some small program funding and then they sent them down the ILC path. While I have been very supportive of the application by radio for the print handicapped for ILC funding, I am a little concerned that they probably do not fit the bill for ILC funding and we may have another orphan organisation.

Again, I have to say how extraordinarily disappointed I am to hear the Greens swallow the Kool Aid that comes from the government and accept lock, stock and barrel the sort of pious hope that perhaps the government might do something about this. I have sat through the annual reports hearings. I heard what sounded to me—and I agree with my colleague Ms Lee—like a lot of duck-shoving and a lot of shunting

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