NDIS update March 2017

Worrying times for people with disability


Kurt Fearnley, OAM

High levels of concern have been expressed by disability advocates and organisations regarding the apparent linking of future NDIS funding to potential savings in the federal welfare budget. A funding shortfall in the NDIS has existed for years, but successive governments have always guaranteed that the scheme would be fully funded and that somehow the funding would be found.


This latest move now makes such funding conditional. There is an associated and ongoing undercurrent of rhetoric that links the disability community with welfare and welfare recipients, and positions both in a very poor light indeed, leaving the impression that they are a burden on the community.


The reality is that a fully-funded NDIS will increase jobs and productivity for the disability community and those who provide services to them to the extent that modelling shows that the investment in the NDIS will completely pay for itself. Unfortunately that fact has disappeared from the dialogue outlining how savings in welfare payments can be put to the NDIS.


Highly respected and well-known Paralympian gold medallist Kurt Fearnley had this to say on the issue. The video in this story is well worth watching.


Concerns about the NDIS in WA


A grassroots group of people with disabilities is calling for assurances they will not be worse off under a state model of the NDIS in Western Australia.


Earlier this month, the State and Federal Governments agreed to begin final negotiations on a deal for WA to operate its own version of the NDIS. Trials have been undertaken of both the federal version and one based on the existing WA model of disability service delivery, with localised decision-making and block funding.


The State Government presented its preferred model to federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter in October, but people within the disabled community in WA are concerned it does not place them at the centre of the scheme. One mother from Cockburn in Perth’s south who has taken part in the WA trial with her two young sons said she was extremely disappointed in the model. Read more…


Carers falling through the cracks under the NDIS



When her children joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme this year, Cheryl Paradella and her husband, who has post-traumatic stress syndrome, believed respite support would continue.

“We were told no one would be worse off under the NDIS but, in actual fact, we are worse off because respite is not automatically provided for carers,” she said.


The TAFE teacher, who lives near Campbelltown in Sydney’s south west, lost access to carer respite services when the NDIS was introduced in her area five months ago. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and faces a six-week recovery from surgery she had last week. Read more…



Mobility aids schemes in Qld


MASS (Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme) is administered by the Queensland Health Department. The main aim of MASS is to help people with disability remain independent at home. The Department of Community, Child Safety and Disability Services implements the VOSS and CAEATI schemes to help people with disability with mobility issues outside of the home. However MASS administers both of these schemes as well from within the Department of Health.


The CAEATI and VOSS schemes will be taken over by the NDIS as it rolls out in different locations in at different times. Both these schemes are aimed at purchase of equipment, whereas MASS is aimed at repairs and maintenance of equipment. MASS will continue in parallel with the NDIS, which doesn’t cover repairs and maintenance.


Your rights under the NDIS


The NDIS will create a market for disability services worth $16 billion a year, so it’s good news our consumer watchdog has released a new guide to consumer rights for people with disability. Read more…


How to start your plan under the NDIS


Learn about starting your plan using downloadable fact sheets and a video from the NDIS website.




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