Page 4801 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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need for advocacy services, as well as the increased demand on families and carers to take on the additional role of support coordinator.

Evidence also highlighted that, although the envisaged role of local area coordination was to facilitate support coordination, the current role has placed an emphasis on participant plans. This has resulted in insufficient support coordination being provided by local area coordination. The committee found that further evaluation of support coordination funding and the role of local area coordination is required to consider continued funding for support coordination beyond the participant’s initial plan; funding to reflect carers taking on the role of support coordinator; and reviewing the processes utilised by local area coordination to ensure sufficient support coordination is provided to participants.

Evidence received also highlighted concern with the interface between the NDIA and other services. Specific concern was also raised with regard to the early childhood early intervention referral process for children born with hearing loss. In the course of the inquiry the committee became aware that, under the scheme, children born with hearing loss were not being referred to auditory specialists in time to commence therapy before the auditory cortex closed.

Noting the urgency of the issue, the committee wrote to a number of key agencies and ministers, both commonwealth and territory. After all evidence was heard, the committee found that early intervention for children born with hearing loss should be received immediately after diagnosis, the current pricing schedule should be reviewed, and the commonwealth government should retain Australian Hearing as the exclusive provider of paediatric cochlear hearing services. The committee also found that further clarification is required in regard to the roles and responsibilities of the NDIA and mainstream services, including health, education and transport.

After considering the submissions and evidence presented during the public hearings, the committee has made 30 recommendations that consider the relationships and interactions between the commonwealth, the NDIA and ACT government services, current and future funding concerns, and matters that the ACT government should raise with the COAG Disability Reform Council.

The committee also made 40 findings that consider the broader operation of the scheme. These recommendations and findings provide an opportunity for the ACT government, the NDIA and the COAG Disability Reform Council to make a substantial improvement in the quality of life to all those partaking in the scheme.

The committee wishes to thank all of those who have contributed to this inquiry by making submissions or appearing before the committee to give evidence. The committee recognises that a number of submitters and witnesses shared their personal NDIS journey and that this was not always easy. The committee appreciates the efforts taken by individuals and family members to share these personal stories.

I would like to take the time to thank the other members of the committee, both past and present, all of whom contributed to the report that is being presented today. I would also like to thank the secretariat, including Josephine, who came in late to

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