Vic Govt Urged to Increase NDIS Funding
Tuesday, 10th February 2015 at 9:27 am
The new Victorian Labor Government has been urged to ensure that it meets its commitments under the NDIS agreement with the Commonwealth and increase its disability budget.
The Not for Profit peak body, National Disability Services (NDS) has lodged a submission with the State Government outlining its priorities for the 2015-16 State Budget [PDF 125KB, DOC 76KB] calling on the new Andrews Government to increase the disability budget from the current $1.67 billion per annum to $2.5 billion by 2019/20.
The NDS submission also calls on the State to create a $10 million NDIS Transition Fund to help Not for Profit service providers make the necessary investments to transition to the scheme,” NDS State Manager James O'Brien said.
“For the NDIS to be a success it must also be built on strong foundations and NDS is also calling on the State to ensure that the approximately 900,000 Victorians with disability who won't qualify for the NDIS can continue to access high quality mainstream services to promote improved social and economic outcomes for all Victorians,”
The submission's nine key recommendations are:
Increase disability services investment to $2.5 billion by 2019/20 in line with the NDIS agreement with the Commonwealth Government.
Establish a $10 million NDIS Transition Fund to help service providers make the required changes to get ready for the NDIS.
Ensure a comprehensive approach to preventing abuse and neglect.
Deliver a better funding and service agreement for the sector with an indexation rate that reflects the real costs of service delivery and ensure adequate funding of at least $200m over four years to cover the Equal Remuneration Order.
Commit to disability sector procurement.
Ensure community services is a priority sector and take a hands on approach to workforce development.
Implement the Final Report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with Disability and the State Disability Plan 2013-16.
Facilitate new housing options for people with disability.
Continue to close institutions, enable the community sector to deliver disability support services and examine the future role of the Department as a disability service provider.
“By funding these priorities, Victoria will be well positioned to ensure a successful transition to the NDIS, people with disability, their families and carers will be able to access high quality specialist and mainstream services and Not for Profit disability service providers will continue to be a key part of Victoria's community sector,” O’Brien said.
The NDS is described as Australia's peak body for non-government disability service organisations with 950 NDS members operating several thousand services for Australians with all types of disability.