The Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services (Committee), today tabled its report on the Implementation, Performance and Governance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the ACT (Inquiry), in the Legislative Assembly. This report examines the operation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in order to ensure people with disability are supported and empowered.
Ms Cody, the Chair of the Committee, said: “the Committee understands that the NDIS is a big change for people with disability and that these changes take time. However, after hearing stories from NDIS participants, carers and disability services providers, the Committee believes a proactive approach needs to be taken to address the concerns and issues raised by these groups”.
The Committee heard from a range of peak bodies, services providers, as well as participants and their carers about the need to adopt a better planning process by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). In particular, Ms Cody noted: “the Committee heard very clearly that flexibility in the planning process and consistency in plan funding is needed. Additionally, people with disability and their carers stressed the importance of a planner that has disability-specific knowledge”.
The Committee also identified significant services gaps due to funding restrictions. As such, the Committee has made a number of recommendations urging the ACT Government to increase funding for these services to ensure people with disability have access to all services. The Committee finds that the timing of these recommendations provide the Government with ample time to include them in the 2019-20 ACT Budget.
With regards to advocacy, Ms Cody stated: “The Committee became aware that the role of the ACT Human Rights Commission as advocates for participants was not being recognised. The Committee believes that the ACT Human Rights Commission has the right to advocate on behalf of the participant and that this right should be acknowledged by the ACT Government and the NDIA”.
With regards to early intervention, organisations providing hearing services raised significant concern with inconsistencies and confusion in the correct referral process for children born with hearing loss. “The Committee believes that such confusion not only results in the delay of the child accessing essential services, but will detrimentally impact the child’s development”. Ms Cody said.
“Although issues and concerns have been identified, the Committee acknowledges that the Scheme has been a critical social policy innovation that has never been seen before. The Committee believes that the Scheme as a whole has been an important and positive development for people with disabilities”. Ms Cody said.
The Report is published on the Committee website at https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing-committees-current-assembly/standing-committee-on-health,-ageing-and-community-services.
27 November 2018
For further information please contact:
Committee Chair, Ms Bec Cody on (02) 6205 1448
Committee Secretary, Josephine Moa, on (02) 6205 0136 or at LACommitteeHACS@parliament.act.gov.au