The NSW Upper House has released its report on the NSW implementation of the NDIS. The NSW Government will now have to respond.
We made an extensive submission to the Inquiry when it was announced and we appeared before the public hearings held by the committee. Many of our focus areas and recommendations have been incorporated into the report.
Specifically, we welcome a number of the recommendations, including:
- Recommendation 15 – That the NSW Government provide ongoing funding and support to advocacy organisations beyond 2020.
- Recommendation 13 – That the NSW Government be established as a service provider of last resort to the National Disability Insurance Scheme to ensure crisis situations are managed appropriately.
- Recommendation 11 – That the NSW Government actively pursue, through its role on the Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council, an agreement about jurisdictional lines between the National Disability Insurance Scheme and New South Wales healthcare system as a matter of priority.
- Recommendation 4 – That the NSW Government develop and support, on an ongoing basis, an integrated early intervention program which addresses the fact that many children in need of early intervention services are not – and will not – be eligible for National Disability Insurance Scheme funding.
- Recommendation 9 – That the NSW Government: provide funding up to five years post rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme for the current transitional arrangements and programs in New South Wales, including Ability Links and Safe and Supported at Home · undertake a review, involving thorough stakeholder consultation, to assess whether or not further funding on an ongoing basis is required.
- Recommendation 10 – That the NSW Government’s review of the of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 include: a focus on the National Disability Strategy · enhancing governance arrangements to enable the NSW Ombudsman to have an oversight role in the review and monitoring of government agency Disability Action Plans.
More general points from the Recommendations that are also important include:
- A focus on training of planners and LACs, and timely response to reviews and plans
- Funding of case management through NDIS packages
- Concern about oversight mechanisms both in NSW and for the NDIA
- That community visitors scheme continue and be rolled into the NDIS
- That an office of the Public Advocate be established
- That no one be left behind in NSW, regardless of access to scheme
- Concern about the functioning of ECEI
However, there are a number of recommendations we made that were not incorporated into the report. We continue to advocate for the following recommendations we made in our submission:
- That the office of the Minister for Disability Services becomes the Minister for Disability Inclusion
- That an office located with the Department of Premier and Cabinet is established with responsibility for:
- implementation the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan across government
- oversight and co-ordination of funding arrangements for the Disability Inclusion Action Plans
- co-ordinating and reporting on progress under the legislation, COAG agreements and state-wide disability strategies and plans
- leading inter-jurisdictional negotiations in relation to the improvements to the NDIS, NDA and NDS
- recurrent funding and resourcing for representative peak organisations of people with disability and independent advocacy non-government organisations to ensure that the voice of people with disability is represented.