Disability reform Ministers’ meeting on 9 July

I thank all my state and territory ministerial colleagues for their ongoing engagement and commitment to disability policy reform.

I also thank the NDIA and its Independent Advisory Committee for their work and advice in the lead up to today’s meeting.

I’m grateful to the many participants, and the peak bodies who have spoken with me over the past three months to provide me with a greater understanding of their perspectives and experiences. This has helped to inform today’s discussions and consensus decisions.

450,000 NDIS participants, their families and support workers are counting on us to get the NDIS right so the scheme is the best it can be and is sustainable for many generations to come.

Three months ago I announced a pause on the reforms while I consulted extensively. I also committed to provide greater transparency of information and returned today to discuss this with disability ministers.

I have an absolute commitment to work towards reaching an agreement with my State and Territory colleagues on the pathway forward.

The governance structure of the NDIS, with shared control by the Commonwealth, states and territories requires a multi-partisan approach.

After eight years of operations, now is the time to take the lessons of the lived experience and turn those lessons into a better NDIS.

The drafting of a formal Communique from today’s meeting is underway. Key outcomes from my perspective include:

  • Agreeing to undertake further work to understand the assumptions and cost drivers that underpin the actuarial modelling. This will allow Ministers to form a unified understanding in order to develop a pathway forward together.
  • Recognising the Commonwealth’s willingness to provide greater transparency and a commitment to a multi-partisan approach.
  • Discussing the outcomes of the IA evaluation report and IAC consultation report.
  • Noting the IAC Report which was well received by all Ministers. The IAC was warmly acknowledged for their hard work, frank advice and professionalism – and it will help guide our pathway forward.
  • Agreeing with recommendation 1 of the IAC Report that Independent Assessments do not proceed. Importantly, all Minister’s agreed to work in partnership with those with lived disability experience on the design of a person-centred model. A model that will deliver consistency and equity of both access and planning outcomes. A model consistent with the assessment requirements under the NDIS Act.
  • Discussions on a pathway for NDIS legislation, including the legislating of the Participant Service Guarantee, the Tune Review recommendations and measures to address fraud and unscrupulous provider practices in the Spring sitting.

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