Victoria secures NDIS funding certainty
18 June 2019 at 4:34 pm
Victoria has settled a bitter feud with the Commonwealth over National Disability Insurance Scheme funding after signing a long-term agreement with the federal government.
Under the agreement signed this week, Victoria will contribute around $2.5 billion a year to the NDIS until at least mid-2023.
The rest of the scheme’s costs will be covered by the Commonwealth, with the state to be provided $2.4 billion from a special fund that reimburses governments for NDIS expenditure.
The move makes Victoria the sixth state or territory to sign a full scheme agreement with the NDIS, which is currently completing its final rollout across Victoria.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said this was a landmark agreement set to begin at the start of next month.
“[It] puts in place long-term funding and governance arrangements for the NDIS, giving Victorians certainty that the future of the NDIS is secure,” Ruston said.
“The Morrison government, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the [Victorian] government are committed to providing a high-quality experience for participants as they transition to the NDIS.”
This deal follows a stoush between the Victorian Labor government and the Commonwealth government over a $1.6 billion NDIS underspend in the federal budget, which critics said was used to prop up a budget surplus.
During the dispute, the state government said Victoria would not sign up to an NDIS funding agreement with the Commonwealth if the federal government would not “pay their fair share”.
National Disability Services acting CEO David Moody said the latest announcement was a big step in the right direction for the NDIS, particularly for Victorians.
He said NDS remained committed to making the scheme work, and had sought the support of governments to fix the problems still plaguing the scheme.
“Reaching an agreement like this will help deliver the final transition stages smoothly for Victorians moving to the NDIS. We know this is very important for participants in the scheme to allay concerns about future funding,” Moody said.
“NDS is continuing to work hard with the government, the [NDIA] and our members to make this happen.”
Pro Bono News has reached out to Victorian Disability Minister Luke Donnellan for comment.