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News update
18/07/2024
News update

The NDIS Commission seeks feedback on the Workforce Capability Framework

An independent survey from KPMG is open until 24 July to evaluate the effectiveness and use of the framework.
News update
18/07/2024
News update

NDS joins calls for accessible housing standards in NSW and WA

State governments’ failure to sign up to basic design standards for new homes discriminates against people with disability.

NSW in Focus by Debbie Jaggers, June 2024

NSW in Focus by Debbie Jaggers, State Manager NSW

5/06/2024

As the financial year draws to a close, NDS continues its strong advocacy on behalf of members concerned about their financial pressures and sector sustainability. We all await the NSW budget on 18 June and the imminent release of the NDIA Annual pricing review.  

It is crucial that providers receive some good news. NDS called for more funding for the sector in our NSW pre-budget submission and we have been advocating strongly, both from our NSW office and nationally, on the importance of financial boosts in this year’s pricing review. We believe realistic pricing is the key to a strong, high-quality and sustainable disability service delivery sector. 

We believe the 2024–25 Federal Budget in May was a missed opportunity for government to support quality disability services and provide much-needed confidence. Reform action has already commenced, such as the Getting the NDIS Back on Track legislation, which is before a senate committee. The NSW Government, with other states and territories through the Council for the Australian Federation, raised concerns in their submission to the senate committee (no 46) that “the pace of the reform schedule is not allowing time for meaningful consultation”. They warn of the dangers of pursuing changes to the NDIS without first designing the broader disability sector ecosystem, including foundational supports.   

Advocacy round-up 

Philip Petrie, Chair of our NSW Divisional Committee, and I have been out advocating on your behalf. Philip and fellow Divisional Committee member Morgan Fitzpatrick appeared as witnesses at the NSW Parliament Education Committee inquiry into children and young people with disability in NSW educational settings. Philip and I also sat down with Shadow Minister for Disability Inclusion, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, a member of the inquiry, to discussed DCJ housing stock, the education inquiry and foundational supports.  

To feed into the NSW Government response to the Disability Royal Commission, I will be participating in a NSW Government stakeholder forum on the Disability Royal Commission in early June. If you want to hear directly from the Hon. Kate Washington, Minister for Disability Inclusion, she will be speaking at NDS Disability Hot Topics Breakfast in Sydney on 24 July. You can register on our event page. The NSW Divisional Committee will also be meeting with Minister Washington in August. 

We have been hard at work making submissions to various NSW inquiries and were witnesses at a few, including the inquiry into Procurement practices of government agencies in New South Wales and its impact on the social development of the people of New South Wales

Most recently, we made a submission to the NSW Portable Long Service Leave draft bill consultation. We are concerned at the piecemeal implementation of portable LSL legislation around states and territories and have called for ?a consistent national response.   

Psychological health and safety from harm in the disability sector

On 22 May, we completed our series of work health and safety webinars with a session exploring the occupational violence work in Victoria. I am a member of the SafeWork NSW industry action group and NDS is talking to SafeWork NSW about collaborating on work and information for NSW providers.  SafeWork NSW has a strong and increasing focus on the disability sector.  

In mid-May, the Hon. Sophie Cotsis, Minister for Work Health and Safety, launched a new SafeWork NSW Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024–26. Also in May, SafeWork NSW held a consultation on its draft SafeWork NSW Strategic Plan 2024–29. NDS gave our response. Two of the five regulatory priorities for 2024–25 are relevant to the disability sector: 

  • Exposure to psychosocial hazards — including the identification and management of sexual harassment 
  • Harms to workers in the disability and other health sectors.  

NDS looks forward to collaborating with SafeWork NSW to support disability services. More information, tools and resources can be found on the SafeWork website.   

NSW events 

Regional workshops 

The NDS regional workshops are continuing across NSW. We had a successful event at Port Macquarie and invitations have been sent out for a workshop in Wagga Wagga on 26 June. We have been drawing on a broad base for these discussions, with cross-sector representation from aged care, health, council and from people with disability. The solutions and themes that emerge will inform our advocacy and project work. There will be events Dubbo, Western Sydney and Maitland later in the year. There will also be an online forum for outer regional and remote service providers. If you wish to attend one of these events, you can secure your place by contacting Paula: submit enquiry/feedback

And on 18 June in Sydney, we will be holding our Investigation and Complaints Workshop and places are still open.  

For more information, questions, or comments, please contact me. 

Contact information
Debbie Jaggers, State Manager NSW, 02 9256 3186, submit enquiry/feedback