PWDA Responds to Senate Legislative Committee’s Report on the NDIS Amendment Bill

People with Disability Australia

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has called the Senate’s Community Affairs Legislative Committee’s recommendation to pass the NDIS Amendment Bill ill-advised.

The Committee’s proposed amendments are not enough to address the legislation’s shortfalls and do nothing to address PWDA’s concerns that the Bill in its current form could leave participants worse off. PWDA President Marayke Jonkers has called on all Senators to listen to the grave concerns expressed by the disability sector to the Senate Committee’s Inquiry and not pass the Bill in its current form. “Senators must not pass this legislation in its current form. “Legislation should be held off until the government’s responses to the Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review have been tabled and things this Bill relies on have been designed in a way that works for people with disability. “The future of the NDIS and the supports we rely on to stay well and fully participate in the community are too important to leave to chance. We are always willing to work with the government of the day and co-design, but we need detail, not just reassurances, on things like methods for assessing needs and funding plans, the rules and definition for Foundational Supports, and the powers of the NDIA’s CEO, so we know people with disability will not be worse off,” said Ms Jonkers. PWDA’s submission to the Senate Legislative Committee on the NDIS Amendment Bill highlighted several areas where the proposed legislation falls short. The organisation is seeking as a minimum: • Co-design involving Disability Representative Organisations for all outstanding rules and definitions • Needs Assessments to be based on the ‘whole-of-person’ • Rules and definitions for Foundational Supports to be agreed through the National Partnership Agreement prior to the commencement of the Bill • Participants to be protected from debt actions and plan suspensions, especially when third parties are involved, with the NDIA CEO’s powers to be used as a last resort PWDA President Marayke Jonkers has questioned why the legislation is being rushed through. “Our community deserves more than premature legislation that could undermine our access to essential support. We support the Coalition and the Greens’ call for more time to ensure any change to the NDIS is in the interests of the people with disability it impacts,” Ms Jonkers said. PWDA believes the government’s formal responses to the NDIS Review and Disability Royal Commission should be tabled before the legislation is debated. “We don’t know the full context for this legislation with the NDIS Review and Disability Royal Commission responses not tabled yet. Such significant reform should not be undertaken in such a piecemeal fashion. The Bill must not be debated until the Government tables these two critical pieces of information,” Ms Jonkers said. PWDA looks forward to working with Minister Shorten and the government on the genuine co-design on the NDIS Review response they have promised.

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People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.

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