Well the election is only a few days away. Time to make our vote count.
What are all the major parties saying about the NDIS and disability? We’ve looked at their policies and put together a quick summary so you can make up your own mind.
We have also compared the policies to our own election asks so you can see where any remaining gaps may be.
Labor released a 10 point plan to fix the NDIS on May 3.
Released by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister Linda Burney, the plan features the creation of an NDIS Reserve fund to quarantine any unspent NDIS funds and make sure they are reinvested back into the scheme.
The plan also includes more staff to clear backlogs and more help for people and families to navigate the complex scheme.
Other features include:
- Lifting the staff cap and creating a taskforce to clear backlogs, particularly of reviews;
- New timeframes for entry into the scheme, plan and equipment approvals and plan reviews;
- An independent review looking at NDIS plans for consistency, quality and fairness;
- More help for people to navigate the scheme and get their NDIS plans into action including more support for advocacy;
- A national action plan to develop a skilled disability workforce; and
- Targeted outreach for people who require additional support such as children, people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or Culturally or Linguistically Diverse backgrounds.
There was however no mention of the IT system, or increased funding for Information Linkages and Capacity Building.
Labor also released a plan to support carers and a number of other initiatives to improve inclusion and accessibility for people with disability.
These initiatives included $66 million to improve access to respite, the reintroduction of the National Carers Strategy, $9.5 million for programs to improve the health of people with an intellectual disability, $300million for students with disability and $4 million for audio description at the ABC and SBS.
And you can read the Every Australian Counts media release on Labor’s plan here.
The Morrison Government’s Plan to Support People with Disability was released on May 2 by Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher.
It includes a renewed commitment to the full roll out of the NDIS and initiatives to increase the employment of people with disability.
It also includes a commitment to reducing red tape and providing people with disability and their families more help to navigate the scheme, as well as the creation of a 7 per cent employment target in the Australian Public Service.
It features $45 million to create a new information gateway for all people with disability and their families, and $20 million for the extension of the Community Connectors program, which will help people from rural and regional areas, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and ageing parents navigate the scheme.
If elected a Coalition government would also introduce a new NDIS Participant Guarantee at the completion of the roll out, which will set timeframes for entry into the scheme, plans and plan reviews.
The plan also includes work already underway on the NDIS such as:
- improving pathways through the scheme for people with psychosocial disability, complex needs, children and those who require specialist disability accommodation;
- changes to simplify the process for accessing aids and equipment; and
- a national action plan to help young people move out of aged care facilities into more appropriate accommodation.
The plan also includes initiatives outside the NDIS such as support for students with disability and two employment initiatives for people with Down syndrome and people on the autistic spectrum.
There was however no mention of the creation of a reserve fund to quarantine unspent NDIS funds for use in the NDIS nor any mention of increased numbers of staff or changes to the IT system.
And you can read the Every Australian Counts media release on the Liberals’ plan here.
The Greens launched their plan to create an Accessible Australia back in January.
The plan features four commitments:
- An NDIS that works for everyone
- Accessible public spaces and places
- Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect of disabled people
- Access to a job and education for all
The plan commits to fully funding the NDIS and removing the staff cap, as well as improving staff training. The plan also commits to improving the IT system to make things easier for participants and providers.
Other initiatives include an extra $400 million to boost accessible public transport, the creation of a $1 billion Accessible Infrastructure Fund and the construction of 500,000 fully accessible community and public homes.
The plan also commits to supporting schools to develop inclusive education practices and improving teacher training.
The Greens also want to set a target of 15% of people with disability employed in the Australian Public Service by 2030 and would set aside a pool of almost $10 million a year to carry out workplace adjustments.
And a special shout out to the Greens who were the only ones to provide their policy in Easy Read. Unfortunately we weren’t provided with a link but you can find a PDF below.
At only three pages long the plan did not contain a great deal of detail about how the promised initiatives would be implemented.
You can read some media coverage of the plan from Pro Bono News.