NDS welcomes announcement of WA-administered NDIS
Today is a landmark day, as the way forward for the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia is now clearer. Over the next few years, an estimated 40,000 Western Australians with disability will become NDIS participants, allowing them access to much-needed supports and increased choice and control over their lives.
Today's joint announcement by Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher and Commonwealth Minister Christian Porter provides a firm basis for further negotiations toward a final bilateral agreement on a locally-administered NDIS model which meets Commonwealth conditions for national consistency. Subject to a formal agreement, the NDIS transition to full scheme will begin on 1 July 2017.
"This announcement is a significant milestone for the disability services sector and people with disability in Western Australia," said NDS WA State Manager Julie Waylen. "It delivers increased certainty about how and when the NDIS will be rolled out across our State."
NDS’s Chief Executive, Dr Ken Baker, commented: “NDS is pleased that the NDIS in WA will enable decisions to be made locally and as close to the ground as possible. A locally-administered NDIS is more likely to reflect the diverse circumstances of WA’s vast geographical regions. At the same time and importantly, nationally consistency will be achieved on the main design features of the NDIS, ensuring portability, equity and choice.”
NDS notes the 11 conditions stipulated by the Commonwealth and agreed to by the State Government. They include the requirement that WA legislation mirrors key elements of the NDIS Act 2013 on access and eligibility; reasonable and necessary support; quality and safeguarding; and governance (which will be shared).
With the WA Government paying 100% of the administration costs, its share of NDIS costs will be higher than for other State governments and the Commonwealth will carry less of the financial risk.
The WA disability services system is well-established and has been carefully developed over the past 25 years to meet the diverse requirements of people with disability across the State. The disability sector has campaigned long and hard for this reform and brings to the table a vibrant, diverse and solid foundation on which to build a sustainable NDIS.
"It is pleasing that local administration and decision making will be at the centre of the NDIS in WA," Ms Waylen said. "It must above all deliver the highest quality support and services and foster a strong, sustainable disability sector so people with disability can have greater choice and control about the services they choose."
In fortifying the NDIS in WA, there must be a partnership approach between the disability sector, people with disability, families and carers in the ongoing development and transition to full Scheme implementation. It is critical the disability service providers and people with disability and their families have a strong voice in shaping and influencing the practical design of the NDIS in our State.
NDS, representing 1100 disability services organisations, looks forward to working collaboratively with the State Government to transition to the full Scheme roll-out and building the best possible support system for people with disability so they can exercise true choice.
"This announcement is a great start, and we now look forward to bringing the expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm of the sector to the forefront to build the best possible NDIS," Ms Waylen said.