Australia – Victoria’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme takes a major step forward from today with new laws to protect Victorians living with a disability coming into effect.
The full-scheme NDIS agreement with the Commonwealth also starts from today, with Victoria contributing $2.51 billion in 2019-20, and the Commonwealth paying the balance of all scheme costs.
Under the bilateral agreement, the Commonwealth agreed to Victoria’s demand to quarantine accumulated but unspent funds, estimated to be $780 million, for Victorians with a disability so they can’t be used to offset future Commonwealth contributions and prop up the Federal Liberals’ budget bottom line.
The Commonwealth has also agreed to Victoria’s demand to address problems being experienced when NDIS clients require other mainstream Victorian services, in particular:
- Establishing a dedicated hospital liaison function to address the number of NDIS clients stuck in busy hospital wards who are clinically ready to be discharged but can’t leave due to NDIS delays
- A shared approach to managing children with complex disabilities in the NDIS who are being relinquished into residential care by parents unable to cope with complex behaviours.
While the agreement gives much-needed certainty to Victorians with a disability, their families and service providers, it doesn’t alleviate all of Victoria’s concerns with the way the NDIS rollout has been managed.