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22/10/2021
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Sarah's Soundbite: October

Across Victoria there is anticipation around reunions with family, friends and the activities we enjoy, with the COVID-19 vaccination rate rapidly closing in on 80 per cent and the state reopening.
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22/10/2021
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Helpdesk Top 5: September

Read answers to top up your knowledge on COVID-19 vaccinations and other timely topics. Got a question on your mind? NDS members can ask the Helpdesk.

ACT 2021-22 Budget handed down

Australian parliament house in Canberra

7/10/2021

What you need to know

  • A number of priority areas for people with disability funded
  • Ongoing funding for Integrated Service Response Program announced
  • Funding for upgrade and expansion of public housing
In announcing the budget Chief Minister Andrew Barr stated the budget had three clear priorities, “to protect the health of the community, deliver on our election commitments, and turbo-charge our economic recovery”.

Several priority areas NDS had highlighted in budget submissions have received funding.

Disability services and strategy

These include ongoing funding of the Integrated Service Response Program (ISRP). This program assists in coordination, connection, and emergency funding for people with high and complex disability support needs not currently being met by the NDIS and other service systems. It was announced that the ISRP will be funded for the next four years. The budget papers also note an undertaking to develop a new ACT Disability Strategy.

Disability advocacy

Disability advocacy services also received a commitment for funding over the next four years. ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) and Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI) both received funding to increase their capacity to provide targeted advocacy support and services for people with disability.

Upgrade and expansion of public housing

The ACT budget has included significant additional funding for public housing repairs and maintenance. This includes kitchen upgrades, domestic violence security works and disability modifications. This addresses an ongoing issue frequently raised by people with disability and service providers being access to affordable and well-maintained accommodation. The maintenance program will be managed in parallel with the Growth and Renewal program to ensure high-quality public housing while also growing available public housing stock.

Inclusive education

The government also announced it will undertake a review of education for students with a disability in ACT public schools and develop an inclusion strategy.

Additionally, the equivalent of 42 full-time learning professionals and support staff will be added to meet the significant growth of support needs in the ACT school system. Support will be targeted at students with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and students with lower socio-economic backgrounds.

NDS will continue to liaise with the health, education, and community services directorates to ascertain further details.

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Kerrie Langford , Head of Employment and ACT Territory Manager, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number