WA Govt to run NDIS following agreement with Federal Govt

Anita Gamba is thrilled with how the NDIS has worked for her.
Anita Gamba is thrilled with how the NDIS has worked for her.

FINAL negotiations will begin for a state-run National Disability Insurance Scheme following an agreement on Friday between the state and federal governments.

The WA-delivered NDIS transition to operate under state legislation will commence in July next year and must mirror key elements of the NDIS Act 2013.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter, the Member for Pearce, said both governments were committed to national consistency on elements such as choice and control.

“While it remains the Commonwealth’s strong preference for WA to join the NDIS on a similar basis to other states and territories, I acknowledge WA’s firm commitment to a WA-delivered model that builds on WA’s existing disability service system,” he said.

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Mr Porter said the Government was willing to consider a locally-run NDIS incorporating the current WA disability system, providing 11 conditions were met in the state-administered scheme.

“Those fixed conditions include national consistency for key elements such as eligibility and access, the WA Government funding 100 per cent of the administration and operating costs, and clear sharing of governance responsibilities,” he said.

Another condition is for WA to contribute 59.4 per cent of care and support package costs for an agreed number of eligible participants each year for the transition period.

Disability Services spokesman Stephen Dawson said people with disability, their carers and their families want to know they will have access to the same funding and the same choice and control options as those on the national scheme.

“The scheme must make it easier, not harder, for people to get the care they need,” he said.

“These issues must be addressed as a matter of urgency and communicated with people in the sector before any deal is signed off.”

Greens North Metro candidate Alison Xamon, along with disability advocate and Greens candidate Samantha Jenkinson, called for the NDIS WA agreement, draft legislation and scheme reviews to be made public.

The NDIS Perth Hills’ trial site opened in Midland more than two years ago for people with disability aged up to 65 and living in the local government areas of Mundaring, Kalamunda and Swan.

In April, the Federal Government announced a 12-month extension of the trial to June 2017.