Tony Talks: Delivering the Promise
It has been another busy month for NDS just as I’m sure it has been for all of you.
I would like to thank those members who have attended CEO and Senior Management forums in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Mildura, Swan Hill, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.
A particular focus of questions at these events was what would be expected of providers when the National Quality and Safeguards Commission takes over coverage of Victoria from July 1 this year.
Providers are questioning how the scheme will interact with the Victorian Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES). There are also questions concerning the cost and availability of auditors and arrangements for organisations registered in more than one state.
We appreciate the assistance provided to us by representatives of the Commission who were able to assure members that registration will be ‘automatic’ from July 1 and a phased approach will be adopted to provider registration over the coming years. If organisations have recently undergone a registration in either South Australia or New South Wales, and they operate in Victoria you are urged to contact the Commission individually to see what can be arranged.
NDIA, LAC and DHHS representatives also attended the meetings and this resulted in multiple discussions around issues that have plagued providers for years. These include plan expiry, transport, plan inconsistency, the less than user friendly portal and insufficient or no support coordination to name just a few. NDS continues to actively lobby on behalf of members to resolve these many, and often longstanding problems. We were pleased to see good direct connections were made with NDIA and LAC and DHHS staff.
Speaking of lobbying and direct representation, NDS President Joan McKenna Kerr and Acting CEO David Moody launched NDS’s Election campaign in the last week of March at Parliament House. Victoria was represented at the launch by Vice President, Rohan Braddy, CEO of Mambourin, and we were pleasantly surprised at the coverage the launch received and the ongoing coverage of Disability issues in the lead up to, and during Budget Week.
Under the banner “Deliver the Promise: Get the NDIS on Track” on your behalf, NDS asked for 5 key things to be addressed urgently.
- Introduce independent pricing so prices reflect the real cost of supporting people with disability
- Reduce red tape, and focus on people not bureaucracy
- Have better NDIS planning, so that plans are consistent, flexible and allow local decision making
- Support a dynamic, diverse disability sector that provides choice and quality supports
- Focus on employment support for people with disability, and a National Workforce Strategy that builds a workforce to meet future demand for services
While NDS has had an early win on one to one attendant care and community participation prices, which are scheduled to rise between 10 and 15% from 1 July 2019, we believe that there is much more to do to improve the operation of the NDIS and we intend to keep the campaign going.
I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the campaign so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to share your views or get more information at deliverthepromise.org.au.
The election campaign will culminate in a ‘day of action’ on Friday 3 May, in conjunction with Every Australian Counts, where events will be held across the country. As soon as locations are locked in we will be touch.
Finally, a big thank you to all of the members who have actively supported the Disability Workforce Jobs Fairs in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong with another one coming up in Shepparton on 30 April, then Wodonga on 8 May, followed by Mildura and Dandenong. Details will be confirmed shortly. We encourage providers to take part in the Jobs Fairs and help support the workforce expansion in our sector.
See you next month,