Former Finance secretary to review NDIS

By Shannon Jenkins

August 12, 2019

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Former Department of Finance secretary David Tune will review the National Disability Insurance Scheme in an effort to reduce wait times for participants. 

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said the review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 will focus on streamlining NDIS processes, particularly for children and those needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology.

“We are listening, and will be consulting with people with disability and their families, the disability services sector, ministers and officials from Commonwealth and state governments and the NDIA as part of this review,” he said.

Consultation will commence later this month and will include an online survey and discussion paper, and face-to-face workshops in every state and territory. 

Robert said Tune “has a great deal of experience in reviewing important policy”, making him a “great choice” to lead the upcoming review, which will inform the Participant Service Guarantee to be introduced July next year.

Tune retired from the Australian Public Service in 2014 before leading reviews into parliamentary entitlements and the impact and effectiveness of changes to the aged care system.

READ MORE: Report highlights deep-rooted inequality in NDIS

The National Disability Services (NDS) Acting CEO, David Moody, welcomed the review.

“This means that funding is available for families who are purchasing much needed therapeutic services for their children. Details are to be worked out but NDS believes we should be seeing funds flowing as soon as possible,” he told ABC radio

“We will be doing what we can to support our members and the NDIA to implement as quickly as possible, as it will mean participants are not having to wait for extended periods.”

Back in June, Robert announced $10,000 “standardised” interim plans for children aged six and under who were likely to wait more than 50 days for their package. While disability advocates welcomed the plan, they argued it should only be a temporary solution, and the scheme should run normally by the end of the year.

The average wait time currently sits at 127 days, while more than two-thirds of children with disability have issues with or are unable to access the services they require, according to a new national survey.

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