Public consultation opens on NDIS legislation reforms

Acacia Plan Management changes to legislation
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The Australian Government is proposing changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) legislation to make processes easier and better for NDIS participants.  The Government is continuing to work to create a simpler, faster, fairer and more consistent NDIS that aims to work better for people with disability, their families and carers.

A 2019 independent review found that the NDIS legislation was broadly fit for purpose.  Several improvements were recommended could be made to remove barriers that made processes difficult or frustrating for participants and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which delivers the scheme.

The review made numerous recommendations to improve the participant experience, many of which require amendments to the NDIS Act and Rules.  Public feedback is invited on draft legislation to deliver a better experience for NDIS participants.

Improved participant experience is at the centre of the reforms, which includes giving effect to the Government’s 2019 election commitment, by legislating the Participant Service Guarantee and implementing key recommendations of the independent review of the NDIS Act.  The introduction of the Participant Service Guarantee will set standards for how long NDIS processes such as approving or amending a plan will take and how the NDIA will work with people with disability.

The proposed changes also include:

  • Making lived experience of disability one of many important considerations for membership of the NDIA Board; and,
  • Updating the principles of the Act, to reflect the importance of co-design with people with disability.

The proposed Bill will make amendments to the NDIS Act and Rules, giving effect to 14 of the review’s recommendations, in whole or in part. The remaining recommendations will be considered in future legislative amendments, following the co-design of a new assessment model to support access and planning.

These changes aim to give participants more choice and flexibility, fix parts of the legislation that are not clear or are out of date, and give better support to people with more complex or unique needs.

For a plain English guide of the legislative changes, a Summary of the NDIS Bill and Changes to the NDIS Rules is available. An Easy Read guide to the plain English guide is also available.

You can read the draft legislation here.  Feedback on the draft legislation is open on the DSS Engage website, with submissions closing at midnight (EST) on 7 October 2021.