Victoria’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme takes a major step forward from today with new laws to protect Victorians living with a disability coming into effect.
The full-scheme NDIS agreement with the Commonwealth also starts from today, with Victoria contributing $2.51 billion in 2019-20, and the Commonwealth paying the balance of all scheme costs.
Under the bilateral agreement, the Commonwealth agreed to Victoria’s demand to quarantine accumulated but unspent funds, estimated to be $780 million, for Victorians with a disability so they can’t be used to offset future Commonwealth contributions and prop up the Federal Liberals’ budget bottom line.
The Commonwealth has also agreed to Victoria’s demand to address problems being experienced when NDIS clients require other mainstream Victorian services, in particular:
- Establishing a dedicated hospital liaison function to address the number of NDIS clients stuck in busy hospital wards who are clinically ready to be discharged but can’t leave due to NDIS delays
- A shared approach to managing children with complex disabilities in the NDIS who are being relinquished into residential care by parents unable to cope with complex behaviours.
While the agreement gives much-needed certainty to Victorians with a disability, their families and service providers, it doesn’t alleviate all of Victoria’s concerns with the way the NDIS rollout has been managed.
The underutilisation of client plans and the pricing for services will be subject to review, and a world-leading National Disability Research Partnership will be developed in consultation with people with a disability.
The Andrews Labor Government’s strong protections for people with a disability will also be maintained after the Disability (NDIS Transition) Amendment Act was passed by the Victorian Parliament last month and takes effect from today.
With about 105,000 Victorians with a disability expected to participate in the NDIS when the transition is complete, this legislation enshrines safeguards including the use of restraints in disability care and the rights of people with a disability in the rental housing market.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“Today, Victorians with a disability and their families are a step closer to the support that they deserve as part of the NDIS.”
“We will continue to hold the Commonwealth to account, to ensure Victorians with a disability get the support they deserve.”
“The NDIS must deliver on its promise to give people with a disability a chance to live an ordinary life – and that’s what we’ll keep fighting for every day.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020