Queensland in Focus by Jason McKey, March 2023
NDS staff are back in full swing with visits to members in regional areas. Last week I started in Townsville and worked my way up to Cairns, seeing members along the way. On Thursday, we held our State Committee meeting in Cairns which the Disability Minister, Craig Crawford attended.
(image description) David Coles, Regional Coordinator and Policy Advisor for EPIC Assist, met with NDS State Manager Jason McKey (right) in Cairns recently.
With the minister, we discussed workforce attraction and retention in rural and remote regions, as well as strengthening thin labour markets. Another issue we covered was state-enforced registration of SIL accommodation and the duplication this would cause. Minister Crawford took in what we had to say, and we look forward to returning to these issues with him over the coming weeks and months.
After our committee meeting, we took the opportunity to have lunch with around 40 disability service providers. Once again, the Minister gave a brief update to the group and the general discussion was positive.
Jeremy and Tracey are on the road again, with Jeremy touring the Bundaberg area before his trip to the Atherton Tablelands this week.
The Disability Royal Commission held Hearing 32 in Brisbane recently, where the focus returned to disability providers and what they were doing to lessen incidents of violence abuse, neglect and exploitation towards people with disability.
(image description) Sally Bawden, General Manager at Selectability (Aitkenvale), with Jason McKey during his regional visit to Cairns.
NDS CEO Laurie Leigh gave evidence about NDS programs to increase safety for NDIS participants. She stressed the importance of education and training, pointing to NDS resources, such as the Zero Tolerance Initiative and the Human Rights and You e-learning unit, that help members put the right processes and procedures in place to reduce incidents.
She went on to discuss NDS’s position on workforce, accommodation, incidence management and compliance issues that concern our members and how they may affect the quality and safety of services.