In a sign of increasing animosity between the states and the commonwealth over the landmark scheme, Victoria’s disability minister, Luke Donnellan, said the federal government was guilty of attacking the “very principles on which the NDIS was built”.
As live music returns in much of the country, advocates and artists with disability say the industry should learn some lessons from the pandemic and build back up in a more inclusive way.
The disabled people’s organisation is calling for a raft of measures to be urgently funded and implemented to meet Australia’s responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
From September 2022, new homes in Australia will include accessible design features, after a meeting on 30 April saw building ministers decide to include minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code (NCC). After years of advocacy from seniors, people with disabilities, and advocacy groups, this is a landmark decision that will improve housing accessibility in Australia for decades to come.
Disability advocates say they are confused by the federal government’s messaging around independent assessments, after National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed the controversial reform will proceed in “some form” despite widespread opposition.
As a nation, Australia has one of the lowest disability employment rates among OECD members, sitting within the bottom ten, and campaigners have long called for robust action to improve the accessibility in workplaces across the country.
National Disability Insurance Agency chief executive Martin Hoffman acknowledged independent assessments had “caused real fear, concern and upset in the disability community”.
PWDA chief executive officer Sebastian Zagarella said the disabled people’s organisation was pleased the disability community’s lobbying had paid off. “We hope the Australian Building Codes Board’s new standards will eventually make people’s search for a new home much easier, allowing us to participate in our communities more by having accessible housing where we want them.”
Taleporos, who is one of 3,000 people who have taken part in an assessments trial, told the Drum last month he had “just met this person and they asked me about awhether I need support to have sex”. Taleporos said the questions made him feel “quite ashamed” and “embarrassed”. The Labor MP Libby Coker raised the issue on Tuesday, saying the questions were “intrusive”.
The deaths of three Australians with disability have been put under the spotlight at a Senate inquiry looking at the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Australia’s NDIS is ‘under threat’ with set to balloon to $26 BILLION a year – SIX TIMES the scheme’s budget when launched just four years ago
Scott Morrison has warned the future of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is at stake unless ballooning costs are brought under control. The prime minister said the cost of the NDIS had blown out beyond initial maximum forecasts and was on track to surpass $26 billion next year and grow further beyond that.
Senator Reynolds met with about a dozen representatives from across the sector on Friday, as part of a fresh consultation process initiated by her decision to pause the permanent rollout of a controversial new system for assessing NDIS participants for funding.
Asked about her “pause” to the rollout of the compulsory independent assessments, which were due to begin in July, Reynolds said there would be a “pause for several months … to get the construction right”. “I have been very, very clear today and previously that in some form we must have functional independent assessments. What form they take is very much the subject of consultation.”
NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman was called to share a statement at the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS and this is available as video with full transcript.
I’m just not seeing an upside for the government in funding disability support … are there votes in it?