Tasmania in Focus by Lizzie Castles, October 2023
The last week in September was certainly a big week for Tasmanian providers, with the Commission of Inquiry (Keeping Children Safe) report tabled in Tasmanian parliament and the long-awaited Disability Royal Commission (DRC) report tabled in federal parliament. We are still awaiting the publication of the NDIS Review and all three signal major changes for providers.
NDS continues to collaborate with government, both state and national level, to ensure that policy changes from these recommendations are achievable and have taken in the views of disability providers.
With three sets of recommendations handed down adding to the stress from numerous sector issues, it’s never been more important for us to make sure government know what providers are facing.
Thank you for your input to the NDS submission to the Tasmania Disability Inclusion Bill 2023. Our submission will shortly be available on the government’s Have you say page. We understand that the Minister is keen to table the Bill this side of Christmas, though an overstretched Tasmanian sector is grateful that policy changes from the recommendations are unlikely to be confirmed, let alone implemented, within the next quarter.
NDS Divisional Committee
The Tasmania NDS Division Committee welcomes new members Michael Sylvester from the Blueline Laundry, Darren Mathewson from genU, and Rachel Wolf from the Possability Group. We welcome back for another term, Nigel Hill (Multicap), Allyson Warrington (Community Based Support) and Mark Jessop (Nexus Inc.) We extend our sincere thanks to Mark Jessop, our outgoing Chair, who has been relentless in driving systemic improvements for providers, and congratulate Nigel Hill on his appointment to Chair.
Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework
From January, disability providers that engage with children and young people need to comply with the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework. To learn more about your responsibilities, NDS is co-hosting two webinars with the Department of Justice, Interim Disability Commission, the NDIA, and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The first session on 18 October will cover the Standards, while the second session on 8 November will discuss the Reportable Conduct Scheme. Please register to attend these sessions. For further information, see our earlier news update: Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill passes state parliament.
Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA)
Following our ongoing discussions with Homes Tasmania, NDS will co-host an SDA forum in late November with Homes Tasmania CEO Eleri Morgan. The topic will be the best approach to managing SDA properties in Tasmania. Once the venue and date are finalised, we will circulate a link to register.
It was lovely to see so many of you at the Network Coalition Meeting in Launceston on 28 September. Two important Tasmania workforce products were launched on the day: the Work with Purpose, a postcard recruitment and retention campaign; and The Workforce Review Tool, which can help you identify and refine workforce practices across a variety of domains.
Many of you have been involved in the development of these products, so a big thank-you for contributing. The products are freely available now to the benefit of all. To help spread the word go to the Work with Purpose Social Media Kits.
Again, a sincere thank-you to everyone who has spoken to me about your PACE concerns or have advocated within the PACE working groups. The NDIA recently announced it will further delay the full rollout until February. Although this does nothing for the Tasmania providers who have endured the PACE trial, our mainland colleagues are grateful for your advocacy. And you can still tell me about your PACE experiences, because NDS has not stopped advocating for improvements.
NDS will be making a submission to Tasmania’s sustainability vision and goals, Tasmania Positive. If you would like to contribute to this submission, please contact me. Submissions close end of October.
An updated stakeholder kit with information and resources on COVID-19 for disability service providers is now available. You can get the kit from the Disability Gateway under COVID-19 support.