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Thursday, 4 July 2019
Page: 358

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Mr ANDREWS (Menzies) (14:55): I ask the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Minister for Government Services if he would update the House on the progress that the government is making in delivering the NDIS for the benefit of all Australians.

Mr ROBERT (FaddenMinister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services) (14:55): I thank the member for Menzies for his question and for his deep interest in the NDIS through chairing the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which I know he is pleased to do. I'm sure he is also pleased that 57,000 of his constituents will be receiving a tax cut from this government's tax relief plan. The member for Menzies knows, as we all know, that the NDIS is a true national endeavour and, frankly, it is worthy of all of our efforts.

Since the commencement of transition, the number of Australians that have joined the scheme now has increased 900 per cent to 280,000 Australians with disability; 85,000 of these are getting a service for the very first time ever. The provider market has grown from 3,500 to 21,000 and, importantly, as at Monday this week, NDIS is now available to all Australians on the continent.

Since the government was elected, the Prime Minister and I have been speaking with participants, with their families, with carers, with advocates and providers to listen and hear firsthand how this world-leading scheme is improving outcomes for participants. I think we are 80 per cent of the way there in delivering the scheme and the key aspects, and we recognise the last 20 per cent can sometimes be the hardest. That's why we have developed a clear plan to develop the last 20 per cent, and we have been progressively outlining and actioning that plan over the first 35 days in government. That's included, firstly, convening the COAG Disability Reform Council, where all ministers resolved three key interfaces between the NDIS, the mainstream services including health, voluntary out-of-home care, and agreeing to a national action plan to improve hospital discharges. The COAG DRC will continue to meet every three months to resolve further interface issues and, if those ministers need to gather on a rolling three months to solve further issues, they'll do so.

Secondly, we are driving a strong transparency agenda with the states and territories to ensure they've got the maximum amount of data they need to make key decisions. Thirdly, full scheme agreements have now been negotiated and finalised with Victoria and Queensland. Fourthly, the 2019 annual price review has been finalised to further develop a robust and innovative market. Fifthly, in the last 35 days, we've had a six-month surge into resolving temporary backlogs in the early childhood and early intervention supports, which have resulted from a large number of children coming from state and territory systems into the NDIS. This includes a key performance indicator for children being finalised from access to a plan of 50 days and, in some cases, delivering a 400 per cent improvement on service delivery. We are getting on with the job strongly in serving participants in this world-leading scheme.