02 February 2019

Government welcomes Productivity Commission review of the National Disability Agreement

JOINT STATEMENT with The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services

The Liberal-National Government has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s Final Report of its Review of the National Disability Agreement.

The National Disability Agreement is a high-level accord between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments that sets out roles and responsibilities for the funding and provision of specialist services for people with disability.

“The Australian Government will continue to work with all governments, people with disability and the disability sector to consider the findings and recommendations of the Report as we develop a new strategy for the next decade and beyond,” said Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher.

“With one-in-five Australians living with disability, it is critical for governments to work together to help people with disability take control of their lives and have equal access and opportunity.

“We recognise the disability policy landscape has changed significantly since the agreement was first signed in 2008.

“The findings from this review are highly relevant for informing the design of a new National Disability.”

Mr Fletcher said work has already started on developing the new National Disability Strategy for beyond 2020, with public consultation starting later this year.

“We understand the need for a renewed commitment between the Commonwealth and the states and territories,” Mr Fletcher said.

“It is imperative that states and territories continue to provide equal access to mainstream services, such as health, education and transport, so that people with disability can benefit from the same services that are available to, and to which all Australian rely.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, said the report reflects the enormous commitment to people with disability by all levels of government, providers, families and carers, and the community.

“We can all acknowledge that people with disability can face challenges with accessing and navigating mainstream services and the report highlights the need for all governments to focus more on overcoming these challenges,” Ms Henderson said.

“The NDIS is one of the biggest social reforms in Australian history and represents a very significant change to the way people with disability access support.”

The NDIS was never intended to replace all services that state and territory governments provide for people with disability, nor does it remove state and territory responsibility for providing disability support for people under 65 (under 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) who are not eligible for the NDIS.

More than 250,000 Australians are now being supported by the NDIS including 78,000 receiving life-changing supports for the first time. Ninety-one per cent of these participants are accessing mainstream services, in addition to their NDIS supports.

2 February 2019