PWDA’s submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021

12 November 2021

PWDA has made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021.

This submission followed our October 2021 submission to the federal National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister, Senator The Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, in response to proposed legislative changes.

PWDA gave evidence on this topic at a Public Hearing on 12 November 2021 of the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs Legislation Committee. Read our opening statement here.

We are pleased that some of our recommendations were reflected in the revised Bill. While some of the recommendations we made were reflected in the revised Bill, we remain concerned about the following aspects of the proposed legislation, the:

  • need for inclusion of people with disability in the co-design of any National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reforms
  • need for people with disability to serve as National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) board members, making up at least 50 per cent of board membership, with an appropriate gender mix
  • need for participants’ informed consent around the exercise of the proposed CEO plan variation power, which the Bill intends to assign to the NDIS CEO in the Act
  • opposition to the use of Category D for sections 14, 47A(6) and 48(5)
  • scope for stricter (Rules-based) limitations on eligibility for access to the NDIS than required in the Act
  • limitations on proposed changes to improve access to the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability
  • the lack of reasons for internal review decisions and the need to follow the recent Federal Court of Australia determination on the AAT and the QDKH case
  • apparent robodeclining and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) jurisdictional issues that should now be addressed, and the
  • overreliance on rules and what this means for shared governance of the NDIS.