Page 939 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013
act. The ACT government requires funded services to comply with the national standards for disability services as part of all funding agreements with disability service providers.
Funding agreements also include a clause acknowledging that the national standards are currently being revised and that service providers agree to comply with the requirements of any revised national standards. Lifting the requirement of compliance with disability service standards from a contractual obligation and entrenching it as a legislated regulation is an important step in improving the quality of services for people with disability.
This amendment will confer regulation-making power on the minister, which means that provisions can be made in relation to the standards. More specifically, this includes which entities must comply, how to measure compliance, enforcement and monitoring of compliance, as well as the consequences of failure to comply with the disability service standards approved by the minister.
The amendment provides a process to implement the national standards for disability services, once their review is finalised. The revised national standards are seen as a foundation reform for the national disability insurance scheme to enable consistent quality standards for the disability services sector. They focus on rights and outcomes for people with disability. A draft version of the revised national standards was tested nationally in 2012 and a final version is expected to be released mid-year.
People with disabilities, families, friends and carers, service providers, advocacy organisations and quality bodies informed the development of the revised national standards. The amendment will strengthen quality standards and contribute to the work the ACT government is doing to achieve the best possible outcomes for people with disability.
The announcement that the ACT is to be one of the launch sites for the rollout of the national disability insurance scheme is one of the most exciting developments for the ACT that occurred last year. The NDIS is a very significant development for the disability sector. While it will provide significant benefits for people with disability, it will be a major transition for the ACT government, the disability sector and individuals. Being involved in the scheme early is important for the ACT and the ACT will continue to contribute to the design of the NDIS and to shape the future model that is rolled out nationally.
The Disability Services Amendment Bill is important for the ACT government to transition to the NDIS. Entrenching disability service standards in legislation is crucial. The government’s bill contributes to the ACT government commitment in developing a best practice model of supports for people with disability in the ACT. I commend the government’s bill to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.35): The Disability Services Amendment Bill effectively adds the capacity for the minister for disability to legislate standards for the provision of services to people with a disability, with immediate commencement. It also adds a regulation-making power for the executive to make regulations in regard