Page 207 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022
5 August 2021 the Legislative Assembly passed the resolution that this Assembly supports the core principle of person-centred support that gives choice and control to people with disability; calls on the ACT government to respect the wish of the ACT Legislative Assembly and continue to champion an NDIS where person-centred support, that gives choice and control to people with disability, is a core principle; and calls on the commonwealth to honour the commitment made by disability ministers in July 2021 to co-design any changes to the NDIS with people with disability and their supporters.
The ACT government continues to work with stakeholders and our commonwealth and state and territory counterparts on the ongoing improvement of the NDIS. Our goal is to ensure that the original principles of the scheme deliver on its promise of a person-centred, rights-based approach to disability supports that deliver “choice” and “control”.
The principles of co-design and the centrality of people with disability in the NDIS are not a new concept to the community or the commonwealth. The rights of a person with disability to exercise “choice” and “control” are intrinsic principles of the NDIS that the disability community upheld and advocated for in the scheme’s establishment. For example, the NDIS Act 2013 guiding principle (8) states:
People with disability have the same right as other members of Australian society to be able to determine their own best interests, including the right to exercise choice and control, and to engage as equal partners in decisions that will affect their lives, to the full extent of their capacity.
Since the signing of the full scheme bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the ACT in March 2019, the ACT government has continued to contribute to the scheme’s financial sustainability. The ACT will contribute $716.8 million to the NDIS between 2019 and 2023. As a partner in the scheme, with joint governance responsibilities, the ACT expects to see that contribution continue to support choice and control for people with disability, and for any changes to the scheme to be co-designed with people with disability, just as their voices were central to the design of the original scheme.
The NDIS is now benefiting more eligible ACT participants than ever before. According to the December 2021 Quarterly report to disability ministers, in the ACT there are 9,101 ACT participants with an approved plan; 400 NDIS participants in the ACT who identify as being from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background; 959 NDIS participants in the ACT who identified as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background; 1,103 active participants who identified that their primary support needs relate to a psychosocial disability; and 2,814 active participants who identified that their primary support needs relate to autism.
The ACT government is aware of significant challenges and community concerns in relation to the operation of the NDIS and proposed changes to the scheme. These concerns are further compounded by the lack of meaningful opportunities for co-design and engagement with people with disability by the commonwealth, despite the community readily offering knowledge and time. The previous commonwealth