Media Release by Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Recognising the Eight Anniversary of the NDIS

Today marks eight years of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Today we celebrate all eight years of this world-first insurance Scheme which has changed the lives of more than 450,000 Australians with disability across the country. 

The NDIS was born from a grassroots campaign, backed by thousands of Australians. Introducing a national approach to disability support, so that people could be more independent and participate fully in their communities.

On 1 July 2013, NDIS trials began in the Hunter region in New South Wales, the Barwon region of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The disability sector has grown from $8 billion per year across the sector in 2015-16 to $23 billion in 2020-21 on the NDIS alone.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said importantly, the NDIS is providing support to more than 260,000 Australians who’d never previously received supports, prior to the NDIS.

“We’ve seen and heard how the NDIS is changing lives – for participants and for their families”, Minister Reynolds said.

“Over the past three months I’ve had so many people with disabilities and their loved ones tell me that they really value and appreciate how the NDIS allows them to feel safe and supported, and with increased independence.

“I’ve heard the opportunity that the NDIS provides to engage in work, study, live independently and be more connected in the community”.

“Today we acknowledge how far we’ve come in eight years and where there’s more work to do – to deliver the NDIS as it was always intended and to ensure a better way of life for Australians with disability.”

Some key highlights of the NDIS to 31 March 2021:

  • More than $21.7b in funding provided to Australians with disability to access the supports they need, in the 12 months to 31 March 2021.
  • 70,745 children in the 0-6 age group were being supported by the NDIS as at 31 March 2021. 
  • Participants from diverse backgrounds are in the Scheme at increasing rates:
    • 6.8% of participants are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background (up from 5.9% two years ago)
    • 1.5% of participants are from remote and very remote areas (up from 1.2% two years ago).
  • Participants formerly in residential aged care are being supported to move into alternative accommodation. Admissions to aged care for those aged under 65 has reduced by 68% in three years.
  • Participants entering from State/Territory systems are receiving 50% more funded supports (on average) than before they transferred to the NDIS.

“The NDIS is the result of a collective goal and hard work from so many people– it’s fantastic to see the difference it’s made to the lives of Australians with disability,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Now, as we enter the Scheme’s ninth year, the Morrison Government is working on reforms that learn from the experience to date. For a better, fairer, simpler and more flexible NDIS that’s affordable and will be in place for years to come.”