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Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9276

Senator CAROL BROWN (Tasmania) (18:31): Labor has worked with stakeholders to develop these amendments and secure the government's support for them. We welcome the minister's willingness to collaborate with Labor and the Senate crossbench on amendments to improve this bill. This amendment makes changes to three important areas which Labor has negotiated with the government to address stakeholder concerns. First, it will make several changes to ensure that the bill explicitly states that the NDIS participants have the right to access independent advocacy and that provisions be made to define and protect this role.

Second, it will make changes to ensure that the bill provides for procedural fairness for workers in the NDIS. The changes will ensure that the commissioner must have due regard for procedural fairness in performing his or her functions and allow NDIS rules relating to the management and resolution of complaints to deal with requirements of procedural fairness.

Third, the amendment will strengthen the commissioner's role in relation to the regulation of restrictive practices. The amendment will expand the commissioner's behavioural support function to include assisting the states to develop regulatory frameworks, including nationally consistent minimum standards in relation to restrictive practices. That is in line with the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The amendment also splits from the bill schedule 2, which makes a number of amendments to the act to improve the operation of the act following a review. Labor supports this, as it will allow for further consideration of this schedule, which does not directly relate to quality and safeguards.