Victoria Looks to Divest Disability Services as Part of NDIS Rollout
27 April 2017 at 4:46 pm
The Victorian government is looking to divest a number of disability services to the non-government sector in the next step of the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The government is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from non-government providers for the delivery of three areas of disability services to test whether the “strict conditions” the government has set for the future of disability services can be met.
Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley said that under the NDIS, people with disability had more flexibility and choice in the services and support they could access.
“To achieve this, the disability sector needs to expand, with more organisations providing better and a more diverse range of disability services,” he said.
The areas of disability services subject to the EOI are:
- supporting independent living and short-term accommodation and assistance
- early childhood intervention services
- behavioural intervention services.
But Foley said there would be no transition of services to non-government providers if strict conditions were not met.
“These include the requirement that potential providers are able to deliver high quality and safe disability services manage and develop a high quality workforce employed on fair terms,” he said.
“These conditions reflect the government’s commitment that as the NDIS rolls out no one should be worse off.”
The government has said it expects to remain a service provider in some form.
“The EOI process work will help the government understand the extent to which services may be able to be delivered by non-government providers and where the government may need to continue to provide services,” Foley said.
“Should services transfer to new providers in future, staff who transfer, would transfer on fair terms, including moving with their current enterprise agreement and recognition of prior service.
“We will also consult with staff and unions about reasonable incentives that could be offered to support staff to transfer to the non-government sector, including an employment guarantee period.”
By 2019, the Victorian government said it would be investing $2.5 billion per year into the NDIS as well as an additional $26 million to support Victoria’s disability workforce.
“We will continue to work with staff and our industrial partners to grow a skilled, diverse and responsive disability sector,” Foley said.