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14/06/2024
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TAC Small Grants are available for Victorian providers

Applications for the TAC’s annual Small Grants Program will be open from 17 June to 26 July.
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13/06/2024
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Queensland in Focus by Jason McKey, June 2024

In the last month, we have been consulting with providers in the south-west and watching the federal NDIS legislation pass in the House of Reps.

WA in Focus by Graeme West, November 2023

WA in Focus by Graeme West, Acting State Manager WA

30/11/2023

This article was updated on 30 November

Welcome to the November edition of WA in Focus. There is so much work underway in NDS and for providers, as we begin to understand what the final report of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) and the imminent NDIS Review Report means for us all. Together, they will drive transformation in the sector. Hopefully, their recommendations will reset the regulatory environment to the benefit of people with disability, the workforce and providers, particularly those supporting people with complex needs. 

We continue to hear reports of the sector under stress. At our recent Finance Network meeting, we polled providers and 57 per cent of respondents said that, according to their forecast, their organisation would not to be in surplus this financial year. These figures are worrying because they are the first ‘pure’ operational result for most organisations for several years. The numbers are no longer affected by COVID restrictions and one-off provider payments. NDS’s State of the Sector Report will be delivered at our Executive Meeting on 11 December and I’m sure they will confirm the pain our sector is in.

NDS in WA recently launched our Pre-budget Submission Key Priorities 2024–25, which is the policy centrepiece for our state-level disability advocacy. In it, we call for more funded initiatives in four priority areas: workforce, improved NDIS effectiveness, accessible communities and better adaption to future reform. We believe that only increased support will fulfill the aims of the State Disability Strategy towards transformative change and greater opportunity for people with disability. 

The release of the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) final report has seen the NDS team produce a series of briefing papers, each dedicated to an aspect of its 222 recommendations: workforce, employment, housing, quality and safety, First Nations people, and promising practice for providers. They are an excellent way to digest the recommendations without reading the 12 volumes of the report. 

With the DRC now tabled, attention turns to the NDIS Review. To prepare for the recommendations and the development of reforms, NDS has identified ten priorities for reform across key areas (pdf), such as independent pricing regulation, workforce, housing, employment and supports.  

 
Another hot issue is the new PACE payment system, which has started rolling out. NDS continues to hear provider concerns, particularly around the removal of service bookings, the lack of budget clarity, and the notification system and impacts for people with cognitive impairment. I encourage all our members to focus on the transition to the scheme to ensure staff, systems, and participants are abreast of the developments, particularly as providers will need to operate both systems for several months.  

The rollout was delayed to iron out bugs and other issues, but from 31 October, all new participants and those whose plans need adjustment will move to the new system, followed by all expiring NDIS plans by the end of February. 

The new year is coming up fast and it looks like 2024 will be one of foundational reform for the Scheme, which means more change for a sector already fatigued by change and financial uncertainty.  

But NDS is here to support you in these challenges, keeping you informed and connected.  

 

Contact information
Graeme West, Acting State Manager - WA, 08 9208 9807, submit enquiry/feedback