Significant progress over the last quarter
South Australia and Tasmania sign up
The State Governments of both South Australia and Tasmania have now signed binding bilateral agreements to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in their states.
This happened late in 2015. Once the NDIS rollout is complete in Tasmania and South Australia, it’s estimated 10,500 Tasmanians and 32,000 South Australians, with disability will be accessing the Scheme.
NDIS on track
The National Disability Insurance Scheme continues to be on time and on budget according to the latest quarterly report on its progress. The report shows a steady increase in the number of participants with approved individual plans – with 22, 281 plans now in place, up 2,253 from the previous quarter.
The cost of the average plan is slightly higher than the previous quarterly report, a slight increase from $34,831 to $35,450 but is still well within the expected full Scheme average of $38,600.
Most importantly people are still satisfied with their experience.
It’s a good news report that shows that after 30 months the NDIS remains on track ahead of the full roll out in July. Read more…
Calls for reintroduction of a Disability Commissioner
In July 2014, when the term of Australia’s widely respected Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes expired, our government took the decision not to replace the role. Instead they added the disability portfolio to age commissioner Susan Ryan, a move that was widely criticised at the time.
Disappointed disability advocates saw the removal of the full-time disability commissioner role as a backward step for the rights of people with disability in Australia.
2016 will see the NDIS ramp up in a big way with the full roll out starting in July, the timing begs the question, should the government reintroduce a standalone disability commissioner?
Former Commissioner Graeme Innes is now making the case for a full time disability commissioner. He lists the experience of Australians with disability living in or near poverty and their propensity to be without work or suitable accommodation as some of the reasons for it.
Mr Innes said: “The National Disability Insurance Scheme will address many of these issues, but it requires a powerful independent voice to help guide it through to completion. There has never been a greater need for this role.” Read more…
New service to provide support for carers
The Australian Government has recently launched a new service to support Australia’s 2.7 million carers in their caring roles.
The Carer Gateway provides information about the services and support available for people who care for someone with a disability, or who are frail due to age.
Carer Gateway will provide information for carers online and by phone:
- Telephone: Carers can call 1800 422 737 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm for information about services and support available.
- Website: A range of information including practical advice on how to care, details about financial and respite support, and how to adjust when caring ends, can be accessed at carergateway.gov.au
- Service finder: Carer Gateway website has an interactive service finder to help carers identify local services, including Commonwealth-funded organisations delivering carer support services.
This new service does not affect how carers currently access their existing support services.
NDIS makes economic sense
The NDIS will create thousands of jobs and add up to $7.3 billion to NSW’s economy alone according to a new report using results of the biggest ABS survey of people with disability and their carers ever undertaken.