Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 23 March 2017) . . Page.. 984 ..
MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the minister for disability. Given the public statements yesterday that SHOUT needs to make a decision about winding up or otherwise before the end of this month, what reassurances can you provide to SHOUT, its members and the wider community that the function that SHOUT provides—
Opposition members interjecting—
MS LE COUTEUR: will be able to continue?
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister for disability, did you hear that full question or would you like Ms Le Couteur to repeat it?
MS LE COUTEUR: I am happy to repeat it.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: That would actually be quite useful.
MS LE COUTEUR: Okay, thank you.
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, this is the second time Ms Le Couteur has had to repeat her question because of noise from your side of the chamber. Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Given the public statements that SHOUT needs to make a decision about winding up before the end of this month, what reassurances can you provide to SHOUT, its members and the wider Canberra community that the function that SHOUT provides will be able to continue beyond 31 May?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Le Couteur for her question and for her interest in this issue. I have to say that since the news of SHOUT’s decision last week, I have been, along with my office and the directorate, seeking to reassure SHOUT member organisations, associates and the people that they support that the government will make sure that they continue to get the support they need.
I have to say that this is not helped by comments such as Mr Milligan made on his website yesterday saying that SHOUT had, in fact, closed. That is not the case. SHOUT continues to provide very important and valuable services for a range of self-help and other community organisations, as it has done for many years.
As I said yesterday, I have been working with SHOUT, while encouraging and urging them to apply for information, linkages and capacity building funding under the NDIS, recognising that there was a possibility that they may not receive that funding.
I have been working with the health minister for some time to identify potential sources of funding, either supplementary or alternative, understanding that many of