Queensland Becomes First State to Unlock NDIS Funding
The Queensland Government has reached agreement with the Commonwealth on access to the DisabilityCare Australia Fund (DCAF), securing an initial payment of $52.8 million in 2017.
The single payment was activated when Queensland became the first state or territory to sign a National Partnership on DCAF access with the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to join the National Partnership.
“I thank the Queensland Government, and Minister O’Rourke in particular, for their strong support for the NDIS and their constructive planning for full rollout of the NDIS. I hope to see other States follow their lead,” Minister Porter said.
“It’s great to see these Medicare levy contributions flowing helping Queenslanders with severe disability get the help they need under the NDIS.
“This National Partnership also paves the way for some further work by all Disability Ministers through the Disability Reform Council, to make sure our governance settings for managing NDIS risks are simple and agile enough for such a major reform.”
Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice, said more than 5,000 Queenslanders are already benefiting from an NDIS plan, and today’s announcement would help see that figure continue to grow.
“This is another step towards implementing the NDIS across Queensland, ensuring taxpayer contributions flow to the right place, at the right time, just as they should.
“This is not about spending more on the NDIS – total funding was agreed some time ago.
“This agreement provides Medicare levy contributions and will reimburse the Queensland Government for their expenditure in the first two years of the Scheme.”
Queensland Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke said the early payment was good news for Queenslanders, ensuring people with disability would continue to access the support they needed to live a normal life.
“The NDIS has been rolling out across Queensland as planned, but up until now we have not had access to the funding collected through the Medicare levy,” she said.
“It’s great we have been able to work constructively with the Federal Government to secure this funding and give more certainty for Queenslanders with disability, their families and carers.”
The DCAF was established in 2013 to collect revenue from the original increase to the Medicare levy for the purpose of reimbursing the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments for their contributions to the NDIS.
The payment to Queensland is being made in good faith and to recognise the significant efforts by Queensland to support the initial period of implementation of the NDIS. Negotiations between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories on longer-term access to DCAF are ongoing.
The total cost of the NDIS is tracking in line with original estimates from the Productivity Commission, expected to be around $21 billion at full scheme in 2019-20.