Today, Minister Bill Shorten handed down a 329-page report into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Review (NDIS) which made 26 recommendations and 139 “supporting actions” which are to be implemented over a five-year period.
At the heart of The Report is a strong emphasis on establishing “foundational supports” for people with disability who are not yet on the scheme and a commitment to ensuring the NDIS is much more inclusive.
FPDN CEO, Damian Griffis shares an optimistic view of The Report but says we have been calling for these changes for a very long time.
“We are optimistic with what we have heard and seen so far for The Report. We really welcome the recommendation of a dedicated First Nations schedule, forum and better accountability across all governments to Closing the Gap. FPDN have been asking for this for a very long time – through stronger accountability we can make sure that all the recommendations are designed and implemented properly for our mob. We also welcome the focus on alternative commissioning. I just want to acknowledge the many First Peoples across Australia who contributed to telling us the solutions. We are ready to make sure your solutions are implemented the way they should be. For First Nations communities the report outlines the commitment to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and partnering with First Nations people in making policies.” Says Mr Griffis.
The National Agreement for Closing the Gap commits all Australian governments to work in full and genuine partnership with First Nations people in making policies. It emphasises the importance of four key priority reforms:
- priority reform 1 formal partnerships and shared decision making
- priority reform 2 building the community controlled sector
- priority reform 3 transforming government organisations
- priority reform 4 shared access to data and information at a regional level
Over the years FPDN have been lobbying to ensure the NDIS is inclusive of views and needs of First Peoples with disability and FPDNs Senior Policy Manager, Kelly Cox who is driving this important policy work agrees that ‘The Report’ provides positive signs or change but wants to see the government follow through on their commitments:
“There are some positive signs that the recommendations will result in better outcomes for many people. It is significant that we are moving toward a holistic system where people who are not eligible for the NDIS will now be able to access services and support. The detail is what is important over the coming weeks and ensuring that no one is disadvantaged by such big changes and that the government continues their commitment to co-design. At FPDN we are ready to continue to work with community governments including the NDIA to ensure that the future holds the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.” Says Kelly Cox.
FPDN have produced an explainer which provides a background of the work at FPDN to establish a culturally inclusive NDIS service for First Peoples with disability.
For all media enquiries please contact FPDN’s National Communications Manager, Luke Briscoe please email [email protected] or call 0407773259.