Transition to Full NDIS Scheme – COAG
Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 10:01 am
A meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council has committed to a full roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and says it is considering various approaches towards transition plans.
The COAG Communique said all Governments agreed that a key consideration will be ensuring that transition results in a sustainable scheme with high-quality supports for people with disability.
“All Governments endorse the aim of being fair to both existing clients of disability services and those who are not yet receiving support,” the statement said.
The Council acknowledged the transition arrangements being developed will not apply to Western Australia (WA).
“In WA, a comparative trial of the NDIA and My Way models will inform future decisions about roll-out of the NDIS,” COAG said.
“All eligible participants will transition to the NDIS in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) trial in 2016. Queensland is getting ready for the NDIS and will transition to the scheme between 2016 and 2019.”
The Council agreed there is more to be done by Governments, working in consultation with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Board, Agency, service providers and participants, their families and carers, to get ready for full roll-out of the NDIS.
“The NDIS represents an enormous transformation,” COAG said. The Council agreed the transition needs to be managed carefully to avoid unnecessary risks and ensure high-quality supports to people with disability.
“Governments acknowledged the importance of expanding the market carefully, so providers of support are ready and a high-quality workforce is in place as the sector expands during transition to full scheme.
“Each jurisdiction’s approach to transition and the phasing in of clients will take account of their local circumstances and promote the best possible outcomes for people with disability.”
The Council asked officials to continue work to consider the feasibility of options for transition. It agreed that operational plans for each jurisdiction for the transition to full scheme will be agreed by the end of June 2015, excluding the ACT that has already developed transition plans.
“All Governments will ensure that the transition to full scheme is achieved, consistent with the timeframes and funding arrangements set out in the Heads of Agreements already signed between the Commonwealth and State Governments,” the COAG Communique said.
“In the meantime, many people with disability are already accessing supports in the NDIS in the trial sites across Australia, and the roll-out of trials will continue as planned.”
COAG Ministers considered a range of supporting policy matters as part of the transition to the full scheme.
The Council discussed advocacy and the NDIS. The Council said that further work will be undertaken on the relationship between the NDIS and advocacy, including a review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework.
The Council agreed to the policy framework for the provision of NDIS information, linkages and capacity building (ILC) supports, formerly known as Tier 2, for people with disability, their families and carers. The Council said consultation may be required with stakeholders on the implementation of ILC in each jurisdiction.
The Council agreed to a consultation paper and approach to the development of a nationally consistent, risk-based quality and safeguards framework for the NDIS.
“The paper will form the consultation element of a COAG Regulatory Impact Statement,” it said.
The Council said external consultation will be undertaken in early 2015 and that it would be asked to endorse the framework by the end of 2015.
The COAG meeting was chaired by Senator Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services.