Submissions Archive- 2019

November | Submission To The Tune Review Of The NDIS Act

People with Disability Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Australian Government’s review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (the NDIS Act): the Tune Review.

The Terms of Reference for the Tune review of the NDIS focus on “opportunities to amend the NDIS Act to:

  1. remove process impediments and increase the efficiency of the Scheme’s administration; and
  2. implement a new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee
  3. as well as any other matter relevant to the general operation of the NDIS Act in supporting positive participant and provider experiences.

In making this submission, we note that a previous review of the NDIS Act was undertaken in 2015. However, while the recommendations of this review were accepted by the COAG’s Disability Reform Council, the recommendations did not progress to changes in the legislation at the time.

October | Submission To The Review Of The NSW Boarding Houses Act 2012

PWDA is pleased to make this submission to the Department of Customer Service (Better Regulation Division) Review of the Boarding Houses Act 2012.

People with disability have a right to choose where, and with whom they live, and should have the same housing options as other members of the community.

Boarding houses, including Assisted Boarding Houses, represent a form of congregate housing that does not promote or deliver on the right of people to live independently and participate in the community, which is a right under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 19). Research and inquiries have also shown that people with disability living in congregate forms of housing are more likely to be exposed to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (Article 12).[1]

October | Submission On The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019

PWDA expressed its opposition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019, as we had concerns over the following:

  • the potential to erode the equal partnership principle that defines the relationship between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories in the NDIS, especially in circumstances that are complex and require collaboration between Governments to ultimately solve issues
  • how the Bill will interact with the forthcoming Tune Review of the NDIS Act
  • how the Bill will interact with the forthcoming National Disability Agreement  and National Disability Strategy
  • what impact lowering the thresholds for key decision-making powers of the Disability Reform Council (DRC) will have, and how it will affect the governance of the NDIS, and
  • the uncertainty around the process to address disagreement with the Commonwealth Minister’s decision, and

We stood unanimously with other disability peak organisations in our key recommendation to consider the proposed changes in this Bill to be deferred and considered after the Tune Review of the NDIS Act was completed.

October | NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance Submission On The NSW Government’s Review Of Disability Advocacy Funding

The NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance (the Alliance) welcomes the opportunity to provide our input into the NSW Disability Advocacy Review. The Alliance is a coalition of independent disability advocacy and information organisations and peak representative bodies currently funded by the NSW Government. We influence and advocate for the rights of people with disability in NSW to ensure they get a fair go and a say in the policies and decisions that affect their lives. Our organisations work towards a better system where the rights of people with disability are protected and upheld; discrimination against people with disability is eliminated and people with disability are fully included, valued citizens in NSW community.

September | Submission To The Senate On Adequacy Of Newstart And Related Payments And Alternative Mechanisms To Determine The Level Of Income Support Payments In Australia

People with disability face significant barriers to accessing employment. People with disability rely on income support payments to meet basic living costs as well as disability-related costs.

PWDA has significant concerns about the level of income support for both Newstart and related payments such as the Disability Support Pension (DSP) due to the following structural reasons:

  1. We face barriers to employment
  2. We face barriers to accessing mainstream education and training
  3. We have higher living costs

Even if we are employed, 61% of us believe our income is not enough to support our basic needs for housing, food and transport. For those of us relying solely on income support payments, that feeling of insecurity is greatly exacerbated.

September | Submission On The Draft Accessibility Strategy For The Disability Royal Commission

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Draft Accessibility Strategy (the Strategy) for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission).

We believe first and foremost that the Strategy should reflect the experiences, expectations and needs of people with disability. Accessibility is core to the Royal Commission. Without full accessibility, many of us will not be able to contribute our knowledge, experiences and expertise.

August | Submission To The Senate Standing Committees On Legal And Constitutional Affairs Inquiry Into The Impact Of Changes To Service Delivery Models On The Administration And Running Of Government Programs

PWDA has significant concerns about several aspects of recent service delivery models, especially those that relate to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Agency (NDIA) and to Centrelink in the Human Services portfolio.

As part of our work with DPO Australia, we recently conducted a survey of nearly 900 people with disability for the Civil Society Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Shadow Report. Our survey found most of us had difficulty accessing government services and agencies (67%). Many survey respondents had experienced discrimination and disrespect from government agencies including Centrelink and the NDIA.

People with disability also told us that language used by government negatively impacts people with disability. The language used reperpetuate the stigma that people with disability are a “burden”, and are not entitled to the benefits they receive. Having to constantly prove one’s disability also strongly contributed to the overall inaccessibility of human services.

August | Submission On Restrictive Practices Authorisation In NSW

People with disability need and deserve a thorough, CRPD compliant overhaul of RPA and associated systems in NSW, rather than minor changes to a flawed system.

In undertaking this task, key considerations and goals include:

  1. Full and transparent engagement with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
  2. CRPD compliance
  3. A supported decision-making model that is legislated and funded
  4. Independent review panels
  5. Consistent treatment of restrictive practices across service settings, including but not limited to out of home care, schools, pre-schools and after school care, medical facilities, disability services, community organisations, and places of detention.

May | PWDA Submission To Inquiry Into Ageing And Disability Commissioner Bill 2019

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into The Ageing and Disability Commissioner Bill 2019. We write to the Committee to raise a number of areas where we believe the Bill could be strengthened, including

  • Scope and powers of the Commissioner
  • Community Visitors Scheme
  • Advocacy
  • PWDA also fully endorses the submission from the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance, and all of its recommendations.

February | Pre-Budget Submission 2019 – Invest To Solve Housing Crisis For People With Disability

PWDA, with the Summer FoundationNational Shelter, and the Australian Network for Universal Housing Design, have developed a package to address the housing crisis for many people with disability.

The package includes measures to make more homes accessible, to increase the supply of affordable and social housing, and reform the Specialist Disability Accommodation funding in the NDIS. People with disability are being forced into group homes and aged care, can’t find an accessible place to live, and are struggling to afford a home. Each of the measures in this package will work to solve these problems.