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May 13, 2014
Geraldine Mellet

First NDIS Planning Forum in WA – Schedule of Phase-In

On Tuesday May 13 it was exciting to see the NDIS becoming a reality in WA at the first of a number of planning forums,  and to hear for the first time who will be phased in at what time.

Robyn Massey from DSC and Marita Walker the new State Manager of the National Disability Insurance Agency in WA, presented and took part in a Q&A.

The following is from notes taken on the day.   Please remember to get up to date information on the NDIS go to

WA NDIS Perth Hills Workshop – with speakers Marita Walker & Robyn Massey
May 13th 2014 Midland Sports Complex

The WA agreement – what does it mean? (Robyn Massey – Exec Director of My Way)
The Productivity Commission, in its 2011 report into Disability support and care, said something needed to be done to fix Australia’s underfunded, unfair and broken disability system, which would need many additional resources. The WA government said they didn’t feel they needed to change their system, as there were aspects wanted to hang onto, but they acknowledged the need for additional resources.

Following the PC report all jurisdictions signed up to the scheme, with various states committing to launch sites at different times. WA said it wanted a unique launch to use its existing system – something the Commonwealth did not agree with. It was the last of the states to sign up to an agreement, and the only one to have 2 distinct launch sites – one for My Way and one for NDIS, with a decision about what works best to happen at the end of the and 2 year trial.
There was a long hold up over the bilateral agreement as to what launch sites would look like. Now that has been signed everyone is frantically working to get details in place – with the schedule of phasing in to NDIS only resolved last week.
There will be an independent evaluation to identify the best bits of both schemes for the future system. There is commitment for equal funding across those 2 sites for those who are eligible based on ABS data. Multiply that that by an average support package of $35,000 and that amounts to significant new resources put in by state and Commonwealth.

There will be an Independent evaluation – overseen by NDIA, the Commission, PM and cabinet and Premier and cabinet and community reps from NDIS Hills trial and My Way. When the tender is awarded the winner will present its methodology and reports to the NDIS steering group.

No one system is perfect so all the way along we will share data and information, that’s part of the agreement. We have to set up a system that is sustainable into future based on actuarial info and data.

Launch arrangements – key criteria – have to be similar in size 4000 plus people deemed to be eligible in all sites. Cockburn/Kwinana doesn’t start till 2015as a My Way NDIS trial. As with the other sites participants will be phased in gradually. Up to 8400 people will be covered.

What is similar to both launch approaches?
Committed to principles of NDIS – increased choice and control of the individual and family members
Consistent approach to eligibility
Largely based on current eligibility expanded to those who have psycho social disability, those getting HACC services etc.
Consistency in determining what is reasonable and necessary support
Continuity of support for those already getting support
Guarantee of portability – moving between states or sites

What will it mean for people in Perth hills?
From July 1 all support to be provided by NDIS
Gradual quarterly transition from state services to NDIS over 2 years
Ongoing supports and services provided until people are due to be rolled in
No services will be cut off
LAC/MWC cease by end of June 2015 – transition across to NDIS
Ongoing eligibility for those currently registered with DSC
New people will be referred to NDIA not DSC

For further contact email

Transition in the Perth Hills – ( speech by Marita Walker State Launch Site Manager NDIA)

NDIS is the new way of delivering disability support where supports are tailored to individual needs. Everyone in Australia can be reassured that the government has taken out the insurance policy – and in doing this they acknowledge that disability can occur anywhere, anytime and that governments should ensure people receive the support they need with certainty. Like other insurance schemes it will need to build information about what people need, what works best for them, and overall the supports that are most effective.

Choice and Control is central – this comes from strong feedback nationally that people with disability and their families want to be in charge of their own lives.
Needs driven rather than rationed funding – don’t have to wait in queue, don’t have to be critical and urgent.

Delivered in local communities and each launch site has local people employed and delivering the scheme with local flavour.
Working to ensure national coverage so all Australians have access.
People with disability who meet access requirements will become participants.
Wide gateway – encourage you to use the My Access Checker on the NDIA website to find out if you are eligible

Requirements for eligibility:
Permanent disability
The disability must have big impact on the person’s day to day life and ability to participate in the community
The person will need supports for the rest of their life
Early Intervention Requirements

There is greater emphasis on early intervention, recognising evidence that if intervention is early enough it improves outcomes so it is a value investment to spend more money up front

The NDIS Journey
The NDIS is all about the participant being at the centre of what it is we are thinking about and doing. Not a matter of starting from scratch again and re telling your story. For people who are already funded for accommodation or individualised funding package or connected to LAC, you have already satisfied the eligibility criteria.
Only need to check your address and age – for under 65s

Preparing for planning
What can people do now and in next few weeks and months to prepare.
Having a Plan is central to the scheme. Its an opportunity to think about what you have now and what you would like to be different – either support and/or delivery of support
Talk to people now such as your LAC, My Way coordinator, service provider, friends, family etc and find out what supports you currently have and think about what you want the future to look like.
When you come in for formal contact with the NDIA you will talk about your goals and aspirations, your current level of support and what you want to continue. You’ll get the most benefit from that conversation if you spend time now thinking about what you want.
In the planning process you will talk about your existing supports, what you want to retain and what opportunities you want for the future.
Once you and the Agency agree on the plan it is signed off and then sign off
Some of most important things are not necessarily funded, because they are about linking in to mainstream supports.

The Key Questions in your initial session will be:
What is working well for you?
What would you like to change?
What would you like to try?

The Plan is made up of your individual goals plus other supports already provided (from family, friends, community, mainstream etc) and then what needs to be added on and funded by the NDIS
Options for how the plan and funding are managed are various. Iit can be done by yourself or invoices paid by NDIA or managed by a third party.
In other trial sites there is a mixture of those who choose to self manage and those who opt for an agency to do it on their behalf or those who have a combination.

The Hills trial sit is currently building its Perth Hills team which will be aprox 25 staff by July.
Office 74 -78 Railway Pde Midland (near train station)
Local Advisory Group – first meeting 16th May
Local Advisory Network (50) first gathering 23rd May. Membership still open if you want to express interest

Phasing of Scheme Participants will be according to categor and suburb. Click on this link to get the NDIS WA fact sheet WA Phasing NDIS Hills Launch Site

When Where
July ­‑ September 2014 Baskerville,   Herne Hill, Jane Brook, Middle Swan, Midland, Midvale, Millendon, Stratton,   Viveash, Woodbridge
October – December 2014 Kiara,   Lockridge, Brabham, Caversham, Guildford, Hazelmere, Henley Brook, South   Guildford, West Swan, Bellevue, Boya, Greenmount, Helena Valley, Koongamia,  Swan View, Noranda (City of Swan), Aveley   (postcode 6063), Beechboro, Bennett Springs, Ballajura (and Malaga),   Cullacabardee (and Whiteman, Lexia and Melaleuca), Brigadoon
January – March 2015 Aveley   (postcode 6069), Ellenbrook (and Belhus), The Vines, Upper Swan, Gidgegannup   (and Red Hill), Bullsbrook, High Wycombe, Maida Vale, Wattle Grove (postcode   6057), Forrestfield, Roleystone, Bickley, Carmel (and Canning Mills),   Gooseberry Hill, Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Pickering Brook, Walliston, Wattle   Grove (postcode 6107), Sawyers Valley
April – June 2015 Darlington,   Glen Forrest, Hovea, Mahogany Creek, Mundaring, Parkerville, Stoneville,   Mount Helena, Chidlow (and The Lakes, Gorrie and Malmalling), Wooroloo (and   Beechina)

Contact –

Question & Answer session 
Will there be there any more services, for example therapy, in local areas?

Yes but it won’t necessarily happen quickly – while there is recognition that there needs to be more providers doing different things it will take some time for this to happen.

What happens to the person after they reach 65 – cut off age?
Government policy is that the aged care system is funded separately and differently to NDIS. If you are under 65 and are already a part of disability services – you can choose to stay in disability system or used aged care services…but you wont be able to enter NDIS if you acquire your disability after 65.

What are the key differences between NDIS and My Way?
My Way will continue with their My Way Coordinator as the first and main point of contact through planning and the rest of the process.
My Way pay the providers a person chooses quarterly in advance while the NDIA pay providers a person chooses to use on invoice for services. (This is paying providers directly).
NDIA has started with a list of supports and services and prices but My Way don’t have a menu of supports or prices. `

What will happen to existing LACS?
Those who want to can stay with the Commission and will move to other areas of DSC, or they may apply to work with NDIA.
Once signed off, how much of the plan can be changed with altered needs?
There will be an annual review. But if there are significant changes there is capacity for people to come back before then.

We have a child 18 exiting school applying for ATE funding through DSC, which is expected in August . What will happen now?
You will have done the hard work in planning for what you need – you will come in and talk about that. An LAC can assist you until you come in to the NDIS. There is recognition that school transition is not easy so there may be some flexibility in transition to NDIS.

In regards to LACs- who are a great source of information – is there going to be anyone like that?

Title is different but function is the same with the Planning and Support coordinator. Likely to be a different person to your LAC. We accept that it might be hard to lose long standing relationships. We are still finalising recruitment of planning and support coordinators.

You projected about 4000 people will be eligible – is this based on people in need or funding available?
Based on ABS statistics of what is known of people in need now – including extra amount for those with psycho social conditions. The figure is then used to estimate how much funding is needed in the scheme based on an average package size of $35,000 per year. We know there are people who will need very large packages to cover their supports and others who will only need small amounts. All the current data shows that this averages out across Australia to the average package size.

What if everyone in that area exceeds average amount of support package?
We know that that’s not the case from existing state data and trial site data. There is a commitment that nobody will be worse off, that people will have continuity of support..

If we need to have someone provide invoices from support workers what happens if you use someone once or someone who doesn’t work through an agency?
Then you make a decision to self manage that part of your package and set up ways you can legitimately pay the person. There needs to be some recording of that payment. Principles of self management will be the same as under the legislative framework that exists now – those requirements wont change. There are a whole lot of resources on the website – eg the participant portal where people can check how much money they have left and can manage aquittal forms and the like.
Hopefully when peer support networks start up there will be the opportunity in future to set up workshops on that.

If a package is worked out at $50,000 and you want to go through an agency and not to self manage, is the agency’s fee taken out of that amount?
Yes, if you don’t want to self manage then the NDIA pays the invoices to the service providers and gets paid on your behalf. You will know in advance what those costs are. You could decide to self manage and get someone to help you do that. There are also mixed packages -eg for all of your support worker you could go through an agency but you might self manage the portion that relates to community support.

One thing that’s worrying me is the interim period, we’ve been hanging out till first of July. My son’s My Way application was knocked back…we’ve done all the prep work – and now looking at the list of which suburb comes in first, I can see we are limbo till we are we phased in in Jan to March next year. We’ve been in limbo a long time and I’m sick of hearing that the pie is not big enough?
My Way has not had the resources to cover people through the existing state system – but NDIS will have the resources..

What are the qualifications/background of Planning Support coordinators – who will be determining funding? How do we know they have a sound knowledge of the complexities of disabilities?
In other NDIS sites those people had to have allied health qualification, this has now changed in WA and we see the most important things as their value and attitudes. So we will be finding out how they have given people choice and control in their previous work – whether it was disability or elsewhere. This is not dissimilar to how LACs have been recruited. What we want is a spread of skills and experience and knowledge in team. We have already employed senior managers that have experience in complex circumstances. And where necessary we can buy in specialised advice.

Please remember to get up to date information on the NDIS go to


Feb 28, 2013

Several Federal Members of Parliament set to hold NDIS forums across Victoria, come and have your voice heard!

Monday the 4th of March starts a three day tour for Senator Jan
McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers as she joins
Federal Members of Parliament to talk with various communities about the
current state of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Victoria.

These forums provide all members of the community the opportunity
to have their voices heard, their opinions listened to and their questions

Continue reading »

Feb 1, 2013

Geelong is in for a double delight as two NDIS forums are held on February 8, 2013! Register today!

Residents of Geelong will be treated to two different events on Friday the 8th of February, both discussing and looking at the broad issues and questions relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme both in Victoria and around the nation.

Having a Say Conference – A discussion on the NDIS

To start the day at 9.30am the VALID Having a Say Conference is opening its doors for free to the broader community on Friday morning only, for residents to come and listen to, and ask questions of the expert panel of speakers.

Continue reading »

Nov 20, 2012

Expert disability panel to discuss NDIS – Frankston – 5 December

Held at the Frankston Arts Centre in Frankston on Wednesday December 5, locals will be treated to an expert line up of speakers to discuss the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Starting at 9.30am the forum will discuss the foundations of NDIS, what is it, why we need it, who is for and what is happening in the current environment.


Continue reading »

Nov 9, 2012

Upcoming NDIS forum in Benalla:15 November

A forum on the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be held in Benalla on Thursday 15 November at 1pm.

The key speaker at the forum will be the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas who has been a key driver of the development of the NDIS in the Federal Government. James O’Brien, Acting State Manager, National Disability Services in Victoria will also address the forum.

The forum is just one of hundreds that have been held across Australia by the Every Australian Counts campaign, who have been working right across Australia to push for the introduction of a properly designed and funded NDIS. The campaign now has 135,000 supporters, who have all been pushing for the introduction of the NDIS which will help ensure people living with disability, their families and carers get access to a decent level of care and support. Continue reading »

Nov 7, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

Nov 28 likely date for NDIS legislation


Senator Jan Mclucas said that November 28th is the likely date for the introduction of the NDIS legislation into federal parliament for its first sitting. The Senator was speaking at a morning tea hosted by Senator Louise Pratt in the electorate of Brand, the most marginal Labor seat in WA,  to a number of local campaigners with disabilities as well as family/carers

After a summary from the senator  to bring everyone up to date on progress toward an NDIS there were wide ranging questions that ranged from who would make the assessments to workforce capacity, information and referral and how to cope with the tyranny of distance in WA.

Continue reading »

Sep 4, 2012
Geraldine Mellet

NDIS forum with Minister Jenny Macklin

NDIS Forum Reminder – Thurs 6th September

Girls Against LimitationS (Women with Disabilities – Rockingham) will host an NDIS Forum with  Minister Jenny Macklin MP the Minister for Disability Reform who will be open to your questions and the HON Gary Gray AO MP, Federal Member for Brand.

10.00am at South Coastal Women’s Health Services 4 Civic Boulevard, Rockingham

Please RSVP with your name and contact number to Marija Nelson at South Coastal Women’s Health Services on 9550 0900

Sep 3, 2012
Fiona Anderson

Caboolture area NDIS forum: make your voice heard

Caboolture Physical Disability Support Network President Matt McCracken says it time to revolutionise disability services. “I want everyone who lives in northern Brisbane who wants to change the system to come along to our NDIS forum and shout “I COUNT!”

Matt’s NDIS community information forum is aimed at people with disability, their families, carers, supporters and service providers who are:

  • Sick of fighting for services
  • Tired of massive waiting times for equipment
  • Over having to beg for support and then be grateful for any tiny little bit

Wednesday 15 June 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Morayfield Community Centre, Morayfield (near Bunnings)

RSVP/details:  Matt 0410 660 858, e:


Aug 21, 2012
Daniel Kyriacou

Canberra NDIS Forum to be hosted by the ALP:

Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh will be hosting the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas at an Afternoon tea and public forum to discuss a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Friday 24 August 2pm-4pm - Griffin Centre - Genge Street, Canberra City

Please RSVP to by 12 noon, Friday 24 August.


Dec 9, 2011
James O'Brien

Major parties commitment to NDIS on display at Hobart forum

The grand Hobart Town Hall was the venue for a well attended forum yesterday where both major political parties re-affirmed their commitment to introducing the NDIS.

Tasmanian Labor Senator Carol Brown and the Liberal Shadow Minister for Disabilities Senator Mitch Fifield both spoke passionately about their commitment to the NDIS with both demonstrating a strong grasp of the systemic issues confronting the way disability services are funded and delivered in Australia.

These problems of course where chronicled in great detail by the Productivity Commission who condemned up front the current system as “inequitable, underfunded, fragmented and inefficient and gives people with a disability little choice” in their landmark report provided to the Government earlier this year.

Continue reading »


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