Better meeting the needs of Australians with disability

The Albanese Labor Government will strengthen supports for people with disability outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme and more easily fund services through the introduction of the Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023 to Parliament today.

The Bill will benefit the more than one in six Australians living with disability. It seeks to repeal and replace the current Disability Services Act 1986, with stronger and more fit-for-purpose safeguards, while also ensuring continuity of existing supports under a new Act.

The Bill seeks to:

  • Provide a more agile way to fund disability services and supports now and into the future
  • Introduce quality and safeguard requirements for supports provided outside the NDIS through a mandatory code of conduct and certification where required
  • In conjunction with other laws, gives effect to Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Introduce a modern, inclusive legislative framework to enable responses to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
  • Support people with disability to participate in the development and review of services and supports

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the new Act – pending passage through the Parliament – will ensure more responsive Commonwealth-funded services for people with disability outside the NDIS to improve their independence and participation in community and the workforce.

“Supporting Australians with disability is more than just the National Disability Insurance Scheme and this Act will help enable that – bringing legislation for all people with disability into the 21st Century,” Minister Rishworth said.

“It will assist the Government’s continued implementation of reforms linked to the policy priorities that the disability community set through Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31 and will enable us to provide a broader range of tailored services and supports to people with disability into the future.”

The Bill has been developed with the input of people with disability through extensive community and sector consultation since November 2022.

“Across multiple rounds of consultation, we have heard from people with disability, their families and carers, as well as Disability Representative Organisations, service providers and agencies from across Government,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The introduction of this Bill – and its eventual passage – is something we should all be proud of.” 

More information about the Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023 is available from the Parliament of Australia website.