On May 18, Australia went to the polls to vote in the latest Federal election and saw a re-elected Coalition government to lead over the next four years.
Before we voted, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) became a significant emotional issue with long-held concerns for people with disabilities and their families who felt like they are trapped in underfunded plans, slow review processes and inadequate staff training and knowledge.
This prompted the Coalition’s then Social Services Minister, Paul Fletcher, to announce significant changes in an attempt to give participants more certainty over their plans and force the agency to make decisions more quickly.
- People with disability will have a single point of contact with the NDIS, and can choose to be on a longer NDIS plan of up to 3 years if their disability is stable.
- Expand the NDIS community connectors program to support and assist hard to reach communities – including Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and ageing parents of children with disability – to navigate the NDIS and get the services they or their children need.
- Introduce a new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee from 1 July 2020 – setting new standards for shorter timeframes for people with disability to get an NDIS plan and to have their plan reviewed, with a particular focus on children, and participants requiring specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to make NDIS a priority and following this appointed Liberal MP Stuart Robert minister for the NDIS after the scheme was taken out of the social services portfolio.
More than 240, 000 Australians are currently covered by the NDIS, with 460,000 expected to join within the next couple of years.