The Albanese Labor Government is committed to a better Australia for people with disability and will make key investments for both National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and non-participants.
The Government is making a significant investment to design and consult on key recommendations from the landmark independent NDIS Review (the Review), including the creation of Foundational Supports that will change the landscape of the disability ecosystem in Australia.
Work will begin on an important Foundational Supports Strategy that will be critical to restoring the NDIS to its original vision of supporting those with significant and permanent disability, within a unified system of support. The Strategy will be considered by National Cabinet in the second half of this year.
The Foundational Supports Strategy will be led by the Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth in consultation with Minister for the NDIS and Government Services Bill Shorten.
The Review recommended Foundational Supports be a key government focus as a renewed approach to disability supports, without people having to be a NDIS participant.
The Commonwealth will invest $11.6 million over two years to support work to develop and implement the Foundational Supports Strategy. The new Strategy will be informed by a diverse set of perspectives and experiences, including parents, families, carers, the disability community, and researchers to ensure no one is left behind.
The investment follows a decision of National Cabinet in December last year where all states and territories committed to funding Foundational Supports – jointly designed and with costs split 50-50 – to establish and strengthen the ecosystem outside the NDIS.
While details will be worked through with stakeholders and state and territory governments, the Review has proposed that Foundational Supports comprise of both ‘general’ supports - for all people with disability, and ‘targeted’ supports - for people who are not eligible for the NDIS and are most in need of additional support.
General supports could include community care, assistance with shopping, property maintenance, peer and family supports and early intervention support. Targeted supports could include a focus on supports for specific groups such as children, young people and adolescents, people with persistent mental illness, and people with hearing loss. These could include early supports services, independence and transition supports, individual capacity building and aids and equipment.
In addition to the work on Foundational Supports, the Government will also make investments to meet our goals of improving the participant experience and securing the future of the NDIS in line with the Review.
The new work will focus on a number of initial, immediate steps to take action in response to the historic Review, as part of our commitment to restoring the NDIS to its original vision after a decade of Liberal neglect.
The investment by the Albanese Government is to support design and consultation across:
- $54.6 million for fairer and better ways to access an NDIS Budget;
- $49.7 million for improved home and living options;
- $10.2 million to repair the market for better ways to access and pay for supports; and
- $3.6 million to undertake design and consultation work on a system of best practice early childhood supports.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said that people with disability must be at the centre of the policies that impact their lives.
“Foundational supports are too often not accessible for people with disability and certain cohorts face unfair hurdles to reaching the support they need,” Minister Rishworth said.
“This Strategy will address the gap between NDIS and non-NDIS systems, prioritising the need for responsive services that allow all people with disability to fully participate in their communities.
“Through our consultation process with people with disability, their families and carers, and other stakeholders, the Government will capture a holistic picture of where additional supports and services are most needed.”
Minister for the NDIS and Government Services Bill Shorten said these improvements will make NDIS processes simpler, clearer and more transparent, and address recommendations of the recent Review of the Scheme.
“We are making sure the NDIS provides the best experience possible for the people it is designed to support,” Minister Shorten said.
“The Government will continue to prioritise extensive consultation, ensuring that the voices and perspectives of people with disability and other stakeholders inform our next steps to strengthen the NDIS.
“Consultation is well underway, with thousands of Australians attending town halls around the country, as well as other more intensive consultations on designing solutions that are upcoming.”