The Australian Government has confirmed that $398 million will be made available over the next three years for the Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Building program.
Over recent years, NDS has been critical of the short-term nature of ILC commissioning. We hope that the new grants will offer contracts of at least three years, with the option of extending programs that are performing well. We are concerned about the absence of a ‘map’ of essential ILC services. NDS wants the government to commit to funding these essential services so they will be readily available to people with disability. Examples of these include Independent Living Centres, providing advice on suitable aids and equipment and specialist communication and technology information centres. Under this new approach to ILC commissioning, we hope that essential programs will be identified and funded.Grants will be available under four streams:• Individual Capacity Building Program – delivered through a national network of disabled peoples organisations and family organisations• National Information Program – providing accessible, quality and consistent information about disability types and service and support options• Mainstream Capacity Building Program – improving the ability of mainstream services to people with disability• Economic and Community Participation Program – to increase social and economic participation, including employment outcomes, of people with disabilityCommissioning will begin from March, starting with the National Information Program; the other streams will be commissioned progressively from May.The government also announced that a further $19 million will be available in a discrete ILC grant round for projects targeted at improving employment opportunities for people with disability. No further details are available at this time.State and territory governments will share $26 million to assist the organisations they currently fund to do ILC-type to transition to the new ILC funding model.