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14/06/2024
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Helpdesk Top Questions: June 2024

Our helpdesk was asked about improving workplace culture, reclaiming costs of risk assessment, auditing services, and billing for Irregular SIL Supports
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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.

Victorian Government delays Disability and Social Services Amendment Bill

Stack of papers with paper clips

30/05/2024

On 23 May, the Victorian Government announced that the Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Bill 2024 that is before the Victorian Parliament is unlikely to progress before 1 July.  

This means that:    

  • the existing arrangements for the Disability Services Commissioner and her office will continue 
  • the Worker and Carer Exclusion Scheme for out-of-home care workers and carers will start on 1 July as planned. 

Note, this delay does not affect the suite of new requirements for Victorian disability services coming in under the Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Act 2023, which is different legislation.    

NDS hopes that delay of the Bill will allow greater alignment of Victorian regulatory structures and processes with any national safeguarding developments that are coming in.   

The delayed Bill:  

  • merges the Victorian Disability Worker Commission and Disability Worker Registration Board with the new Social Services Regulator in 2026  
  • establishes an Associate Regulator role, who, with some independence from the Social Services Regulator’s other functions, would oversee complaints about disability and other services 
  • delays the Worker and Carer Exclusion Scheme for out-of-home care workers and carers for up to two years until 1 July 2026.  

These are now on hold.  

NDS is keen to see greater alignment of Victorian regulation with national safeguarding developments. Given the major changes forecast from the wide-ranging recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review, we were concerned that the proposed legislation would lock in Victorian developments pre-emptively. The NDIS Review has recommended a national framework for disability regulation and any rush to create a Victorian system, particularly of worker registration, may cause duplication.  

The delay of the Bill gives Victoria a chance to adjust its plans to fit with evolving national developments. We note that the NDIS Provider and Worker Registration Taskforce is due to report in June.  

NDS understands the government is developing guidance on the effect of the delay and will publish it soon. 

But it is important to note that the delay does not affect the suite of new requirements for Victorian disability services coming in under the Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Act 2023. This is a different Act.  

We had a webinar giving an overview of changes on 1 May, which you can watch on our website.  

Contact information
Paul Bourke, Policy & Project Officer, 03 8341 4317, submit enquiry/feedback