The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has welcomed the announcement that the upcoming ACT Budget will invest in better support for Canberrans with disability by providing new funding for people who have high or complex support needs that are not currently being met by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The funding will also support additional advocacy services for people who need assistance to navigate the NDIS.
ACTCOSS Policy Manager Craig Wallace said, “Last year ACTCOSS highlighted the need for more transition support in our Stories of Transition where we heard from Canberra people with disabilities and services about the issues that they were experiencing in the transition to the NDIS.
“The Stories of Transition highlighted a number of immediate jobs for both the ACT Government and the Federal Government in getting the NDIS transition back on track. These included maintaining contingency funds to ensure the ACT retains key social supports and infrastructure, and supports the sectors that manage the change – including advocacy.
“The NDIS is a joint Commonwealth and State/Territory rollout. It was also never intended to be the end of the line for Territory responsibilities for citizens with disability.
“The ACT Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the implementation, performance and governance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the ACT has heard compelling evidence from people with disabilities and families falling through gaps in the system during the transition.
“While we will be looking closely at the detail as the Budget is delivered, these funding announcements appear to respond to a number of those issues and we welcome them.
“They are a tribute to the tenacious advocacy of groups like ADACAS, Advocacy For Inclusion, People with Disabilities ACT, Carers ACT and Women With Disabilities ACT, as well as the individuals and families who gave compelling personal witness to the inquiry.
“Going forward we would welcome signs that the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Australian Government are also listening and setting the NDIS back on track. The means putting person centred planning back at the centre of a person centred scheme; reducing complexity; focusing on human rights and getting better at co-design with local people.
“Work also remains to ensure that the mainstream delivers for people with disability through municipal services and in areas like housing that remain a clear responsibility of the Territory.
“We are keen to see action on affordable housing as well as universal design commitments included in the Parliamentary Agreement. We hope the government’s affordable housing strategy and coming Budget announcements will also deliver on those areas,” Mr Wallace said.
For more information or comment please contact
Craig Wallace, Policy Manager, on 0477 200 755 or 02 6202 7208.