Media Release by Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

13 August Disability Reform Ministers’ Meeting

Today I was delighted to host my third Disability Reform Ministers’ Meeting. 
My sincerest thanks to my state and territory Ministerial colleagues for their ongoing engagement and commitment to reforms of the NDIS and improve participant experience and discuss emerging sustainability issues. 
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was established on a multi-partisan basis and all Australian state and territory governments continue to work together to improve participant experience and ensure the Scheme is built to last. 
The NDIS is now supporting more than 466,000 participants, with more than 245,000 receiving disability supports for the very first time. 

At today’s meeting: 

  • Ministers were updated on the additional data provided in the Quarterly Report on the sustainability pressures facing the NDIS. 
  • Ministers acknowledged the significant work undertaken by senior officials to progress their understanding of the assumptions and cost drivers that underpin sustainability pressures facing the NDIS. 
  • Ministers committed to a forward plan that will see a final report on Scheme financial performance presented to Ministers by December 2021. 
  • Ministers discussed potential legislative reforms related to improving the participant experience, including the Participant Service Guarantee and the ability to more readily vary an NDIS plan. 
  • New South Wales agreed to partner with the Commonwealth to develop measures for Ministers to consider, to further enhance powers to address fraud and unscrupulous behaviour. 

The drafting of a formal Communiqué from today’s meeting is underway and will be released next week. 
Ministers also: 

  • Agreed to progress Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 for formal endorsement by governments. 
  • Agreed on prioritising the improvement of the supply of safe, affordable and suitable housing options for people with disability. 
  • Noted the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination rates for NDIS participants and workers. 
  • Reaffirmed their commitment to the prioritisation of access to vaccinations for NDIS participants and disability workers through the multiple available channels. 

The next meeting of the Disability Reform Ministers Meeting will be held in October of this year.