In an historic new partnership between government and indigenous organisations, the Closing the Gap program is undergoing a major reset. A key Indigenous group is disappointed that disability has not been included in the 16 new Closing the Gap targets. While disability is a significant issue in health, education, justice and employment, it hasn’t been included as a target.
Progress on the national demand and gap analysis of independent disability advocacy and decision-making supports being led by the Commonwealth was discussed, and reports of increasing demand for advocacy services. Findings of this analysis will inform discussions on future arrangements for the funding of independent disability advocacy and decision-making supports.
Former Dignity Party MLC and disability advocate Kelly Vincent said the accreditations were “not a magic bullet, but they are a legal requirement”. “We need the State Government to stop pretending that everything to do with the human rights and lives of disabled people is a Federal responsibility just because of the NDIS.
Somewhere along the way, we seemed to have developed self-serving, compliance focussed systems designed to appease auditors rather than safeguard people. In a time of scarce resources and transformational change, this seems absurd, even negligent. Why does our sector accept it?
Prominent Queensland educator and disability advocate Sharon Boyce has been appointed as a member of the NDIS Independent Advisory Council (IAC).
Treasure Jennings has been appointed as the new Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and the Disability Services Commissioner. Victorians will continue to be well supported by two independent bodies that safeguard rights, resolve complaints and provide advice on improving the mental health and disability sectors.
Victorians with a disability will have greater protections thanks to new safeguards introduced by the Victorian Government, which commence today under the new Victorian Disability Worker Commission. The safeguards are part of the Government’s zero-tolerance approach to neglect and abuse of people with disability, developed in response to recommendations of the Victorian Parliament’s 2016 Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme’s watchdog failed to immediately investigate the rape of a disability care recipient “by one or more care workers”, Federal Parliament has been told.
“Vulnerable participants are not routinely identified and assigned ongoing support coordination in their NDIS plan,” the interim report states. It found there was no requirement for care providers to allocate at least two workers to cater for each client and no requirement for carers to have regular supervision.
Gaps exist in the system to protect disabled people under government care, with a dozen issues identified by a South Australian task force examining the case of an Adelaide woman who died in appalling conditions. The group’s interim report was released on Tuesday and found 12 areas that required attention, with most within the Commonwealth’s jurisdiction.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, said that the NDIS Amendment (Strengthening Banning Orders) Bill 2020, which will be introduced in Parliament this coming sitting, will further reinforce protections in the NDIS legislation for participants of the NDIS. ‘The NDIS Commissioner, who is responsible for regulating NDIS providers and enforcing the NDIS Code of Conduct, will be granted additional banning powers to prevent people who may pose a risk of harm to participants from entering or re-entering the NDIS,’ Minister Robert said.
Celebrating his 10th “truly free” day of freedom since he was 16, Indigenous man Daryl Carr, 35, who has a mild intellectual disability, had a single message. “I don’t want to see the mob go through what I went through,” said Mr Carr, a Wiradjuri man who has spent most of his life behind bars. He was released from prison in late May after a NSW Supreme Court judge found that Mr Carr had been cruelly detained on a five-year extended supervision order for 11 years, sometimes for “minor breaches”.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert is planning to introduce the proposed powers to federal parliament within the next two weeks. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission would be able to draw on sources outside the scheme to determine a ban, including a worker’s history at aged or child care centres. People with Disability Australia spokeswoman El Gibbs said the new powers would be the first step towards improving safeguards in the NDIS.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, said the latest NDIS Quarterly Report highlights the Scheme’s continued support of Australians with disability with $4.3 billion paid for disability supports during the quarter – a 70 per cent increase on the same time last year.
The Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus guides the Australian health sector response. This management and operational plan focuses on people with disability.