Tasmania in Focus by Lizzie Castles, June 2023
Like most of the community service sector, NDS was very disappointed when the state budget was handed down on 25 May. Across the board, there was frustration from the community sector, as we saw up to 55 per cent of the budget allocated to roads and bridges. Hospitals and health, and schools, education and skills received just 24 per cent. There was no additional contribution to Tier Two supports, which the federal government and NDS have called for. We published our immediate reactions on budget day and we are still dealing with our disappointment.
We have continued our work with members on the PACE trial. Our CEO, Laurie Leigh, is on the NDIA PACE working group and has found your feedback invaluable in helping the NDIA understand the issues you and participants are facing. The working group is now helping the Agency to shape the national roll out of the provider portal, which will start in September. The latest information about PACE is on the NDIA website.
COVID risk level increase
Tasmanian providers should have reviewed their COVID-19 and flu procedures now that winter’s here – especially since the Tasmanian COVID-19 community risk level has been increased from low to moderate. It is good practice to regularly check Tasmania's current risk level. If you have any questions about vaccination, you can contact the Community Disease Prevention Unit at Respiratory.email@example.com or on 0499 577 953.
The Australian Department of Health continues to publish COVID-19 case numbers and statistics, which now include data specific to those on disability support pension and for NDIS participants.
Group Pricing Structure
We know the transition to the new group pricing structure is causing some headaches in the sector. The NDIA announced a six-month extension for the transition, with the deadline now on 31 December, but we are aware this comes at a busy time for providers.
At an NDS-hosted session on 17 May, providers asked the NDIA many questions about the changes. In an upcoming session on Wednesday 28 June, from 3:00pm, we will address those key questions and three providers will present on how they implemented the pricing changes, their key lessons and their advice to other providers. Our presenters will include representatives from Mambourin, Central Bayside Community Health Service and Bayley House.
On Wednesday 28 June, we will hold a workforce roundtable on rostering for retention. We continue to hear that rostering is a significant challenge for many providers, especially for staff working across numerous providers. This session will also be drawing on lessons from the Workforce Coalition project, of which NDS is a partner.
Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill
The Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill has now formally passed state parliament, meaning the Child and Youth Safe Organisation Framework (CYSOF) will be mandatory from 2024.
NDS is a member of the CYSOF advisory panel, so we can give you informed updates about CYSOF over the next six months. Please let us know your thoughts and implementation advice. We are keen to hear how you think the CYSOF will align with the disability environment and your day-to-day practice.
Multicultural action plan
Public consultation has begun on Tasmania’s multicultural action plan. The Multicultural Council of Tasmania are collaborating with the Tasmanian Government and the Migrant Resource Centre to develop a plan to create a truly multicultural island — one that ensures Tasmanians of all cultures have an equal opportunity to belong, contribute, achieve and succeed. To contribute, visit the Have Your Say page on their website.
If you have any questions about anything in this newsletter, just contact me at the Tasmanian office.