National Disability Insurance Scheme

02 Mar 2020 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (11:06): The National Disability Insurance Scheme is transforming the lives of people who live with disability and of their families and carers. Through the National Disability
Insurance Scheme, the Morrison government is committed to providing individual choice. We are committed to providing individuals with control over the decisions about the support and care that they want to access, and we are committed to fully funding the NDIS so that people are able to do so.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a world-first system of disability support. It's supporting Australians with permanent and significant disabilities. By July 2020, the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be available across Australia and will grow to support more than 500,000 Australians with a disability by 2023. The National Disability Insurance Scheme will also be fully funded. The NDIS budget funding is growing strongly, from $13.3 billion in budget year 2018-19 to almost $18 billion in budget year 2019-20 to more than $22 billion in the budget year 2020-21.

The recent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act, conducted by David Tune AO, PSM, heard about the experiences of people living with disability, their family members, carers, advocates and providers from around Australia. The review found that, while there was a need for faster processes, better service and more flexibility for some participants, the NDIS is improving social and economic outcomes for many of its participants while increasing their ability to achieve their goals and aspirations. Our government is dedicated to getting the settings right. The government will use the findings of the Tune review to update and clarify the legislation and remove barriers to an even better NDIS.

The government response to the Tune review will be released shortly, along with an exposure draft of the legislative changes so that NDIS participants, their families, carers and other stakeholders can provide feedback, prior to the finalising of a bill for passage through parliament. There are a range of things our government is already doing. In November 2019, the Minister for the NDIS released the Australian government's plan for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The plan has six focus areas with specific activities under each area. The focus areas are: quicker access and quality decision making; increased engagement and collaboration; market innovation and improved technology; a financially sustainable NDIS; equitable and consistent decisions; and we will look to improve long-term outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers.

The government asked the NDIA what they needed, to deliver, and we listened. The NDIA is currently filling an additional 800 APS positions capable of exercising delegations under the NDIS legislation, bringing the total NDIA workforce to more than 11,000 people.

Empowering people with disability with a voice is critical to guaranteeing ongoing improvements to the NDIS. Last year I was delighted to host Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, in my electorate of Boothby to meet with my constituents and hear firsthand about their experiences with the NDIS. Together with Vicki Rundle PSM, the former acting CEO of the NDIA, and Simon Edwards, the state manager of the NDIA in SA, the Prime Minister and the minister met with staff at the NDIS office in St Mary's in my electorate. The opportunity to discuss the experience of the NDIS with participants was absolutely invaluable. I know that my local residents appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with the Prime Minister and the minister. In common with the Tune review, some participants felt there needed to be greater flexibility and speed, while others were really, really happy with their experience and how it had helped them to take greater control over their lives and decisions and the support provided to them in their day-to-day lives.

The Prime Minister and the Minister have held these meetings all over Australia. This is the level of personal care and attention they are giving to Australians who are reliant on the NDIS to achieve independence and control over their lives and their quality of life. Underpinning all of this, of course, is our plan for a stronger economy, because we need a strong economy to be able to afford to pay for and properly support the NDIS, which is going to empower so many Australians to live the lives that they want to lead.