Advocates Call for NDIS Roll Out Plans
Tuesday, 8th September 2015
at 4:44 pm
Ellie Cooper, Journalist
Tuesday, 8th September 2015 at 4:44 pm
Not for Profit NDIS advocacy campaigners have launched an online action urging supporters to email their State or Territory Disability Ministers calling on them to release their National Disability Insurance Scheme roll out plan as a matter of urgency.
“Governments across Australia committed to release intergovernmental agreements which will detail the full NDIS roll out plan by the end of August. It’s now the second week of September and we are yet to see any plan,” Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, John Della Bosca, said.
“It’s time to see these plans. People with disability and their families across Australia have been waiting for their release.
“We know that people in the NDIS trial sites are experiencing very high levels of satisfaction with the scheme so far. People outside the trial sites just want to know when it will be their turn to benefit from the NDIS.
“These plans will give some certainty about when that will be their reality.”
Della Bosca said, however, that some States are very close to releasing their plans.
Every Australian Counts has emailed more than 180,000 supporters urging them to contact their State Ministers calling for the roll out plans to be released.
“We look forward to celebrating their announcements. We want to remind our leaders that there are hundreds of thousands of Australians counting on them to see the NDIS through.
“Releasing the roll out plans will be another big step in the right direction of the NDIS being there for all Australians who need it,” he said.
Last week disability advocates slammed the Abbott Government after it placed an advertisement to replace the board of the agency that runs the National Disability Insurance Scheme without informing the current directors.
According to the ad placed in the Australian Financial Review, the Government is looking for Non-Executive Director candidates to govern the National Disability Insurance Agency as the $20 billion NDIS transitions to the “next phase of implementation”.
It says that candidates will be expected to have substantial board experience either in a large listed company or a significant Government Business Enterprise.
It is understood that none of the current board members, including Chair Bruce Bonyhady, were notified that the advertisement would be placed.
Bonyhady has previously served as President of Philanthropy Australia, Deputy Chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Advisory Group to the Council of Australian Governments, Chairman of Yooralla and has held senior positions in the funds management industry and insurance industry in Australia and internationally. However he would not meet the criteria specified by the Government in its advertisement.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, has denied that the current NDIA board members were not informed of the advertisement for their replacements.
"The board members were advised yesterday that ads would be appearing today, and were also advised that I’d be writing to them to invite them to be a part of the process if they had an interest in continuing to serve on the board. I also wrote to the chair of the NDIS board about six weeks ago outlining the process that we would be going through," Senator Fifield said.
"I have the highest opinion of each member of the board and I have an open mind in relation to the ongoing contribution of each individual board member. What we’ll ultimately do is to look at the combination of skills that applicants possess, both those that might continue on the board, and those who will be coming onto the board for the first time."
Senator Fifield also said that the new Board would be comprised of people who have a longstanding experience in the disability sector, which he said was enshrined in the NDIS Act.