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ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, April 2024

A fresh Disability Strategy and First Action Plan are positive steps for the ACT in this transformational time for providers.
News update
News update

New book tells government how best to support people with developmental disability

The book, in easy-read format from Developmental Disability WA, tells the state and federal governments where more funding should go.

Victoria in Focus by Sarah Fordyce, March 2024

Victoria in focus by Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Vic


The passing of the Disability and Social Services Regulation Amendment Act last year will bring regulatory changes to providers in Victoria, particularly around accommodation, restrictive practices and community visitors. With most changes coming in on 1 July, NDS will soon release details of a series on online and in-person information events to help you adapt.   

Similarly, the appointment of the Social Services Regulator, Jonathan Kaplan, who officially starts on 1 July, will affect the regulatory environment for some providers. I have already met with him and raised some questions we have around registration and regulatory burden.  

The Victorian Government have circulated draft fact sheets on the six Social Service Standards to a limited audience and we were included. So far, they have given no indication of what the registration requirements will entail, but we will keep members up to date on any announcements. 

In the aftermath of the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review, NDS has been keen to highlight the issues, challenges and opportunities for the Victorian Government. Last week, we submitted a paper as a companion document to the NDS DRC submission. This gives a local context and analysis to disability sector issues, highlighting the opportunities and challenges in our state.   

The NDIS Review highlighted some critical problems with the design and implementation of the NDIS, opening an exciting opportunity for government and the sector to achieve system-wide change.  

The outcomes of the NDIS Review align well with many of the Disability Royal Commission recommendations.  Of course, there are plenty of differences between the two reports, as you would expect from enquiries with different scopes, but their commonalities point in the same direction. They each have a vision of an effective ecosystem that has embedded outcomes, high-quality supports and rigorous safeguards. For people with disability, each wants to see the gaps closed between different levels of support.   

NDS has identified ten priorities from the DRC final report and NDIS Review for the Victorian sector. These priorities will lay the foundations for a diverse, high-quality disability sector that delivers effective and outcome-focused services in a way that is sustainable: 

  • Providers need structural adjustment funding. 
  • Service providers and other stakeholders should co-design the reformed system.  
  • Victorian legislation and regulation should align with national quality and safeguarding. 
  • There should be significant investment to drive inclusion in mainstream services. 
  • Foundational supports should build on Victoria’s existing service system. 
  • New navigator roles should link with mainstream services. 
  • There needs to be a plan to supply a skilled workforce to support reform.  
  • The system needs a robust disability housing and support plan. 
  • Disability employment should be a focus. 
  • Regional and rural services should not be neglected.   

I have already met the Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Disability, Iwan Walters, to discuss these issues, and am looking forward to meetings with Minister Blandthorn and senior DFFH officials.  

Providers are facing major disability reform over the coming years and getting our voice heard will be the key to getting it right.   

Contact information
Sarah Fordyce, State Manager VIC, 03 8341 4303, submit enquiry/feedback