News | 27 May 2024

Every Australian Counts Submission into the ‘Getting the NDIS Back on Track’ Bill 2024

Every Australian Counts

Written submissions into the Standing Committee on Community Affairs, about the Getting the NDIS Back on Track Bill 2024 recently closed. 

Every Australian Counts developed a submission to this committee. In this submission, we highlighted our community’s deep concern with the bill, and its potential impacts on people with disability and their families. 

While we express support with the intent of getting the NDIS ‘back on track’, we emphasised that the proposed changes risk undermining the core principles of choice and control, and the schemes purpose of providing individually tailored, quality supports, enabling people with disabilities to live full, self-directed lives.

In this submission, we highlighted the seven core concerns that our community had regarding the proposed legislation. They are:

  • Co-design is not built into the legislation.
  • We could lose our right to reasonable and necessary supports, as it is currently stated in the NDIS Act.
  • We could be forced to undergo assessments to prove our needs.
  • We don’t know what these assessments will look like, or how they will be used to assess our needs.
  • We could lose our choice and control over what we can purchase with our NDIS funding.
  • People could be forced off the NDIS before the State and Territory governments establish ‘foundational supports’; leaving many in our community without support.
  • People with psychosocial disability could be treated less fairly.
  • People who need 24/7 support could be forced to share support, and be put at greater risk of abuse and neglect.
  • It could be harder to appeal an inadequately funded NDIS plan.

Every Australian Counts made a series of recommendations and proposed amendments to the legislation to address these concerns. They are:

1)  Enshrine in legislation comprehensive codesign requirements as outlined above.
2)  Ensure needs assessors have disability expertise,that they work collaboratively with trusted experts who know the person being assessed and provide participants assessment appeal rights.
3)  Ensure assessment tools and processes are suitable for the full range of disabilities.
4)  Do not narrow the definition of a NDIS support, ensure flexibility and innovation in how funding can be used to achieve good outcomes.
5)  Prohibit any algorithm or methodology that discriminates against people with high support needs and undermines their rights to choose where they live and how they are supported.
6)  Strengthen requirements for explaining NDIA decisions and provide avenues forreview and appeal.
7)  Enhance NDIS Act clauses to ensure sufficient parliamentary oversight and participant protections and appeal rights, rather than deferring to NDIS Rules.
8)  Ensure that the legislative timetable accommodates the need to ensure that all changes to the NDIS are codesigned and thoroughly tested with the disability community. 

9) Do not disadvantage people with psychosocial disability.

The Committee has received over 80 submissions, and is required to deliver a report based on the submissions by the 20th of June 2024. This report will be published on their website.

To read the EAC submission you can download a PDF copy here

To find and read other submissions, you can go to the website here

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