With the change in government earlier this year, advocacy group People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is monitoring how the change will affect the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). “A Better Future for the NDIS” was one of Labor’s campaign policies, and it incorporated an 11-point plan that was light on detail.
What is Labor’s 11-point NDIS plan?
Labor’s 11-point NDIS plan is summarised below.
- Put people with a disability back at the centre of the NDIS.
- Make all proposed changes to the NDIS transparent.
- Publish data so that the scheme can be properly monitored, evaluated and interrogated.
- Increase the number of people with disability on the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) executive and board.
- Share governance with people with disability and their families and State and Territory governments, and ensure the scheme is working with mainstream services.
- Stop waste in the NDIS system.
- Fix the NDIS planning pathway and appeals process.
- Review NDIS pricing, markets and compliance, and develop a comprehensive NDIS workforce strategy.
- Pause the Morrison government’s changes to Supported Independent Living (SIL).
- Investigate the $500 million specialist disability accommodation (SDA) underspend.
- Investigate the NDIA’s call centre operation.
The PWDA scorecard
The PWDA created a scorecard prior to the election where it rated all parties and key independent candidates on their policies across seven key issues for the disability sector.
Those issues are:
- Health and wellbeing
- Employment and financial security
- Inclusive homes and communities
- Safety, rights and issues
- NDIS reforms
- Education and learning
- Community attitudes
Each of these broad issues has sub-issues within them. The areas where the PWDA is satisfied with Labor’s commitment are outlined in the table below.
|Health and wellbeing||Emergency/disaster prioritisation for people with disabilities|
|Improve COVID-19 protection for people with disabilities|
|Employment and financial security||Deliver more effective employment pathways for people with disabilities|
|Inclusive homes and communities||Address housing issues, especially SDA and SIL|
|Safety, rights and issues||Nil|
|NDIS reforms||Commitment to the co-design of NDIS reforms with people with disabilities|
|Education and learning||Nil|
However, the areas where Labor has given only a partial commitment or no commitment are outlined in the table below. The PWDA would like the Albanese government to either fully or at least partially commit to all of them.
|Health and wellbeing||Fund a COVID-19 plan for people with disabilities (no current commitment)|
|Employment and financial security||Lifelong access to the disability support pension(no current commitment)|
|Abolish barriers to accessing the disability support pension(no current commitment)|
|Abolish the BasicsCard, Cashless Debit Cards and compulsory income management (no current commitment)|
|Inclusive homes and communities||Commit to the recommendations of the Segregation Positions Statement of the Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPOA) (no current commitment)|
|Invest in accessible and affordable social housing(no current commitment)|
|Safety, rights and issues||Implement all Disability Royal Commission recommendations (partial commitment)|
|Implement all Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations|
(no current commitment)
|Implement all Child Abuse Royal Commission recommendations (no current commitment)|
|NDIS reforms||Remove NDIS access barriers for marginalised communities(partial commitment)|
|Education and learning||Implement the Inclusive Education Roadmap prepared by the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education (ACIE)(partial commitment)|
|Community attitudes||Improve the representation of people with disabilities in all community sectors(partial commitment)|
|Commit to a co-designed anti-ableism campaign(no current commitment)|
It’s too early to determine how Labor’s 11-point plan will be implemented, but PWDA will be monitoring developments closely. They will continue to lobby for the disability sector at all levels of government – federal, state and local – to get full commitments in any areas it believes are lacking.