December 11, 2017

NDIS decision a lost opportunity for WA

The decision of the McGowan Government to opt into the Federal Government co-ordinated NDIS is a lost opportunity for the disability sector in WA.

Shadow Minister for Disability Services Peter Collier said the decision would force people with disability to negotiate their way forward by phone with a team of people based in Geelong, Victoria.

A recent report from the Productivity Commission on the implementation of the NDIS throughout the Eastern States identified a number significant issues, including lack of consistency, portability and trained staff in the disability sector.

“There have been comparative trial sites operating for a number of years in Western Australia and time and again it was found the WA-co-ordinated sites best deliver what the sector wants and what people with disability and their families need,” Mr Collier said.

“WA is vast and unique in geography and diversity and the NDIS needs to be able to meet the needs of all West Australians no matter where they live.

“Many of the services delivery models developed in WA have evolved in response to our unique circumstances and are being delivered through an established service system run by people based here who know West Australian communities.”

In February, the previous State Government signed a bilateral agreement with the Federal Government to enable the roll out of a nationally consistent, WA-delivered NDIS, to begin on July 1 this year.

Mr Collier said it was now incumbent of the Minister for Disability Services to ensure there was a seamless transition to the NDIS throughout WA.

“The ultimate aim of the NDIS is to enhance the quality of life of people with disability and while I would have preferred the Government had retained the WA model, I will work with the Minister to do everything possible for a successful roll out in WA,” Mr Collier said.

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