The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed on the need for major reform of disability services in Australia through a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which means that the next step is ready to be taken in reforming disability services across the country.
COAG has committed to developing principles to guide the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), including, funding and governance. It will also form a Select Council of Ministers from Commonwealth, States and Territories, which will be supported by an Advisory Group, chaired by Dr Jeff Harmer AO.
Foundation reforms include developing common assessment tools, so that people’s eligibility for support can be assessed fairly and consistently, based on their level of need, no matter which state or territory they live in.
They also include putting in place service and quality standards so that people with disability can expect high-quality support; building workforce capacity so we have more trained staff to support people with disabilities; and developing rigorous timelines and benchmarks to support the delivery of these and other essential foundation reforms.
The Select Council will report at COAG’s first meeting in 2012.