246. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Disability Services:
I refer to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to people with disability who rely on the community sector workforce for the provision of essential daily living support.
(1) Will any additional funding be granted to the sector to ensure essential supports are not disrupted during the crisis?
(2) If yes to (1), how much; and when will this funding be made available?
(3) If no to (1), why not?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(3) All disability sector organisations registered with the Department of Communities have been provided with preliminary advice and support regarding the implementation of COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures and business continuity planning. The national Disability Reform Council ministers met today to discuss a wide range of actions in response to COVID-19, including flexible financial supports and solutions for the disability sector and for individuals. The McGowan government’s commitment to people with disability and the sector remains steadfast during this period. At my request, Department of Communities and disability sector representatives and advocates have established a critical incident response group. This group will meet again tomorrow to consider the immediate risks facing the sector and to develop and oversee a suite of practical responses. Discussions are being held between state and federal jurisdictions, the Department of Communities and the disability sector on a daily basis to respond to emerging issues.