National Disability Scheme Looking Forward
Tuesday, 22nd December 2015 at 10:10 am
The National Disability Insurance Agency has called on people with disability to speak up about what they want from the $22 billion disability insurance scheme.
In its annual review, the NDIA said that it was up to people with disability to inform the organisation behind the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of what services it should be offering.
“People with disability must show us what to focus on. We learned from last year and have increased choices for people,” the report said.
The review painted a positive picture of how the NDIS was being delivered, despite a rocky year for the NDIA board members.
According to the NDIA, in 2014-15 it had a surplus of $400,000, demonstrating strong budget management.
It spent $451.3 million in providing support to participants and invested $169.8 million on the administration of the NDIS and preparation for the full rollout of the scheme.
In September the Chair of the NDIA board and the man widely considered the father of the scheme, Bruce Bonyhady, was caught in the middle of controversy when his position was advertised by the former Abbott government.
Former assistant social services minister, Mitch Fifield placed an advertisement in the Australian Financial Review calling for applications for the NDIA board.
It was later revealed that Fifield had not informed the current board before placing the advertisement.
Bonyhady, who was overseas at the time and refused to comment, said in wrapping up 2015 that the NDIA had lived up to the difficult task of delivering the NDIS.
“The Agency matured significantly over the last 12 months to make… successful and sustainable growth path possible,” Bonyhady said.
“There is much to be done and no room for complacency, but in its first two years of operation the Agency has shown that it is on track to deliver equity to Australians with disability by successfully establishing an economic and social reform of historical significance.
“The Agency is already changing lives, and its contribution to the nation in future years will become a source of profound pride to all Australians as well as everyone who has directly contributed to its establishment, development and growth.”
2016 is expected to be an even bigger year for the NDIS, with the full rollout of the scheme starting from 1 July.
The NDIA said in 2016 it would focus on developing more user-friendly information, beginning the new NDIS Assistive Technology Strategy, introducing a new price guide with updated prices, and addressing workforce issues and supply gaps.