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Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9277


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (18:36): by leave—I move Australian Greens amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 8313 together:

(1) Schedule 1, item 7, page 5 (lines 26 and 27), omit the definition of NDIS Code of Conduct in section 9, substitute:

NDIS Code of Conduct means the requirements referred to in subsection 73V(2).

(2) Schedule 1, item 48, page 31 (lines 17 to 23), omit subsections 73V(l) and (2), substitute:

(1) The NDIS Code of Conduct applies to the following persons or entities:

(a) NDIS providers;

(b) persons or entities employed or engaged by NDIS providers, or otherwise employed or engaged to provide supports

and services to, or in relation to, people with disability.

(2) The NDIS Code of Conduct consists of the following requirements:

(a) a person or entity must act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making in accordance with relevant laws and conventions;

(b) a person or entity must respect the privacy of people with disability;

(c) a person or entity must provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill;

(d) a person or entity must act with integrity, honesty and transparency;

(e) a person or entity must promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to people with disability;

(f) a person or entity must take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse;

(g) a person or entity must take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct or other inappropriate relationships against, with or between persons with disability;

(h) if guidelines have been made for the purposes of paragraph (2A) (b)-an NDIS provider must act in accordance with those guidelines; and

(i) if guidelines have been made for the purposes of paragraph (2A) (c)-a person or entity mentioned in paragraph (l) (b) must act in accordance with those guidelines.

(2A) The National Disability Insurance Scheme rules may make provision for and in relation to the following:

(a) rules specifying conduct that may contravene a requirement under the NDIS Code of Conduct;

(b) guidelines for providers;

(c) guidelines for workers.

This set of amendments deals with the issues I raised in my second reading contribution around the code of conduct. The code of conduct is a really important part of the commission's work and, in fact, is an important part of how the NDIS will be implemented. As it currently stands, the code of conduct is one of those six key pieces of delegated instruments that I was talking about not that long ago in my speech on the second reading, which are in a rule rather than as part of the legislation. We had a lot of evidence to the committee that expressed concern that these very important matters were being left to a rule rather than being incorporated into the legislation. So that is what these amendments seek to do. They seek to incorporate the code of conduct, which is, in fact, only eight points, into the legislation rather than leaving such an important issue to a rule.