House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022


National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021; Second Reading

5:06 pm

Photo of Kevin HoganKevin Hogan (Page, National Party, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021 demonstrates a commitment by this government to the focus on improving the experiences and outcomes of people with disability who engage with the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This bill will legislate the Participant Service Guarantee as well as introduce additional measures to improve the NDIS processes and to improve flexibility to participants. The Participant Service Guarantee means that the National Disability Insurance Agency must make decisions about a person's access to the scheme and their plans within a certain time frame. The guarantee also requires the NDIA to meet specific service standards when working with people with a disability and their families and carers.

To ensure the NDIA remains accountable to meeting the time frames and service standards in the Participant Service Guarantee, the NDIA will need to report on how well it is delivering each part of the Participant Service Guarantee. The Commonwealth Ombudsman will also be given powers to independently monitor and report to the government on how well the NDIA is improving the participant experience.

Other measures will improve flexibility, provide greater clarity to those engaged with the NDIS, and the introduction of a plan variation will allow for quick changes to be made to a participant's plan without the need to undergo a full plan reassessment.

Some of the changes are also about people with disability helping to design the NDIS and the role of carers and families supporting people with disability. The changes also use more inclusive language. The bill ensures that people with disability or lived experience of disability are represented on the NDIA board. This will strengthen the integrity of the NDIS by providing a robust mechanism for ensuring that the participants, their families and carers are more firmly at the centre of processes and decision-making.

The bill also makes it clear that someone with an episodic or fluctuating disability may be eligible for the NDIS and clarifies how payments are made under the NDIS. Additional safeguards have been put in place for participants who want to use a registered plan management provider. The changes also remove provisions for the trial and transition phases of the scheme that are no longer required now the scheme is fully available across the whole of Australia.

In addition to the consultation conducted in relation to the draft bill, the bill has been scrutinised by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills and the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, where sector representatives were able to make comment and speak to their concerns at the public hearing. I would like to thank everyone who provided input into the bill through the consultation and the work of the committees. The government has circulated amendments to the bill that respond to the feedback received. I commend the bill to the House.


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