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Australia passes important NDIS legislation to improve participant experience

Australian Parliament House in Canberra
Photo: Dreamstime

The Australian Government has today delivered the most significant improvements to participant experience since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was established in 2013.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the passage of the NDIS Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 will reduce red tape and increase flexibility for participants, their families and carers.

“These historic reforms follow two years of comprehensive consultation with NDIS participants, their providers, support workers and the broader community,” Minister Reynolds said.

“I thank the disability community’s advocates, peak bodies and providers for working with me in partnership on these reforms.”

The legislation is centred on improving the experiences of participants, their families and carers and builds upon the recommendations of the 2019 Tune Review.

As well as legislating the Participant Service Guarantee, the Bill introduces changes to provide more flexibility to participants and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), and to make it easier for participants to vary their plans, without the need for a lengthy review.

The legislation embeds the principle of co-design and ensures the consideration of people with disability or lived experience with disability for NDIA board appointments.

The legislation also makes payments easier, so participants don’t need to use their own money for services and claim reimbursement, and enables real-time reporting of participant budget balances.

“Today’s reforms, together with our fully funded record investment in the NDIS of $157 billion over four years, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to this world-first scheme.”

The passage of this Bill follows the passing of the NDIS Amendment (Improving Supports for At Risk Participants) Bill in October 2021, to better protect NDIS participants from the risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

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