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News update
15/08/2019
News update

Do you have SIL vacancies?

NDS is making a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS inquiry into Supported Independent Living (SIL).
News update
15/08/2019
News update

NDS releases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Guide and Toolkit in Western Australia

These resources have been developed to assist WA disability service organisations to grow their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce.

WA State Budget 2019-20 Analysis for WA Disability Services

man holding papers

9/05/2019

SUMMARY

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Premier McGowan and Treasurer Wyatt indicated in today’s State Budget that the McGowan Labor Government has turned the State’s finances around and through responsible financial management has delivered a budget surplus of $553 million in its second year of government. The surplus is forecast to increase to $1.5 billion in 2019-20 rising to over $2 billion from 2020-21 to 2022-23 while State net debt is expected to be $4.1 billion lower than projected by 2019-20. WA is the only State forecasting net debt to decrease over the forward estimates.State Budget 2019-20 also delivered a good outcome for students with disability with an additional $40 million to be spent over five years by the McGowan Government to deliver much needed support in government schools. This funding reflects an increase in the proportion of students diagnosed with a disability in public schools, and is providing additional support and facilities to deliver education services to students with a disability.The Budget also referred to the State Government support of the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability. The Government has signalled that Department of Communities will be an active contributor to the Royal Commission and will support Western Australians to participate. NDS welcomes this important opportunity for people with disability to share their experiences and set a clear national direction on how to build safer and more inclusive communities. The Government will continue the second tranche of the $20.3 million Sector Transition Fund by providing $8.5 million in 2019-20 to safeguard the sustainability of the disability sector in Western Australia and provide funding to the Department to maintain support for individuals who have experienced delayed entry into the NDIS. The State Budget 2019-20 acknowledges that since the State Government entered into a bilateral agreement in December 2017 with the Commonwealth Government for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to administer the NDIS in Western Australia, both Governments have acknowledged the challenge currently experienced in the transfer and transition of State participants into the NDIS.During the course of 2018-19 it has become clear that there are significant implementation challenges that must be fixed if the NDIS is to deliver its promise to Western Australians with disability, their families and carers. NDS is of the view that the State Government must continue to play a strong market stewardship to get the NDIS right in WA. More assistance will be required in a number of areas in 2019 and beyond to make sure that sustainable high quality supports can be delivered to NDIS participants. Beyond this year’s State Budget, NDS urges the WA State Government to meet its obligation to be vigilant that the NDIS transfer and transitioning in our State is smooth so that the needs of participants are met, particularly those with complex and high end behavioural needs for whom delivery of NDIS supports may pose particular challenges. No disadvantage in the NDIS transition is a condition of the Heads of Agreement between the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments on the NDIS (the Bilateral Agreement). NDS supports active State Government market stewardship with the NDIS in WA including investing in growing the disability workforce and building a strong disability sector that has capacity to provide vital and sustainable disability sector supports. We welcome the State Government’s State Budget initiative of $182.4 million of additional funding for a new Employer Incentive Scheme and training delivery, including $45 million for regional WA which will assist with the cost of employing apprentices and trainees, potentially an avenue to grow the disability workforce to meet the expected increase in demand for support services. Investing in building a quality disability workforce is a win–win for the State Government that aligns with the Government’s focus on creating jobs and delivering quality services. The NDS WA Disability Services Sector Industry Plan projects that by the end of 2020 the disability sector will generate total economic impact of $2.7 billion including an extra 10,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs in WA. NDS’s 2019-20 State Budget Submission highlighted the WA government's continuing responsibility to support all West Australians with disability, whether eligible or ineligible for individual packages under the NDIS and applauded the State Government announcement in November 2018 to develop a 10 year State Disability Plan. Our 2019-20 Pre-Budget submission highlighted the critical need to develop this roadmap for a truly inclusive WA. We continue to work with the development of the State Disability Plan with the Department Communities. The Plan must bring together the requirements to progressively transition to the NDIS in WA and also outline the State’s approach to meet its obligations to the many thousands of people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS.While this year’s budget provisions $500,000 for the development of the State Disability Plan in 2019-20, NDS urges the State Government to fully fund its expedient implementation once the community consultation phase is completed. The State Government must commit funding to the implementation of the Plan and demonstrate that there will be no dilution of State effort in delivering services for people with disability across WA. NDS highlights the McGowan’s Government commitment to enhancing the lives of people with disability in the Western Australian community through investment in initiatives that support them to better access services and participate in their community. This includes:

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