Senate debates

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Danher, Mr Liam

3:20 pm

Photo of David VanDavid Van (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you, Deputy President. We are justifiably proud of the NDIS and that is why we have committed an additional $13.2 billion until 2023-24 for disability support under the NDIS. This is in addition to the extra $3.9 billion included in the 2020-21 budget and bringing the total extra federal government NDIS funding up to $17.1 billion. Need I remind those opposite that tonight the Treasurer will hand down the budget, and I am sure he will have more to say on that.

It is fair to say that the NDIS has grown at a rate well beyond any initial projections. In its 2011 report, the Productivity Commission estimated that the NDIS would support 411,000 Australians and it would have a gross cost of $13.6 billion. We know 450,000 participants are now receiving NDIS support and it is projected that 530,000 Australians will access the scheme, with costs estimated to exceed $26 billion in 2021-22.

The Australian government is committed to delivering on the promise of the NDIS—that is, to provide people with a permanent and significant disability with true choice and control over flexible support packages to achieve their goals. The government is very serious about listening to the concerns raised by people with disability, their families and organisations around the country that support them before making any decision on proposed reforms in the shape of any draft legislation. It is fair to say that, since becoming the minister for the NDIS, Senator Reynolds has been consulting extensively with the disability sector, its participants and providers and state and territory disability ministers and will continue to do so. Those proposed reforms for the NDIS build on the Productivity Commission's original design for the NDIS as well as recommendations of other reviews and inquiries, particularly the 2019 independent review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013—what was known as the Tune review.

The key aspect of the proposed reforms is the introduction of independent assessments to inform access and planning decisions, including the setting of a personalised budget. In April 2021 all governments discussed the shape of these reforms and key concerns that have been raised by the sector. This meeting, just last month, affirmed all governments have a shared vision and commitment to the promise of the NDIS. All governments have also agreed on the importance of further consultation occurring and having further conversations in July 2021, before any decisions are made. The government appreciates that participants and the disability community have concerns about these proposed improvements, and it is a lot of change. It is necessary to set up the NDIS for the future, so decisions on the reforms will be finalised following further consultation with the sector and evaluation of the current independent assessment trials. Thank you.


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