The State Government has today announced it will defer Western Australia’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission until December 1 this year.
Western Australian providers have signalled that deferring the transition of quality and safeguarding arrangements will allow them to focus on critical support issues for people with disability during the COVID-19 recovery period.
With the State expecting to sustain its COVID-19 response over the coming months service providers have expressed significant concerns about the challenges of supporting vulnerable people through the pandemic while also implementing business changes to comply with the Commission’s additional reporting requirements.
In the interim, the complaints investigation and resolution area of the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) will be allocated more resources and the existing quality and safeguarding functions performed by the Department of Communities will continue.
The State Government has also allocated $2 million via the Sector Transition Fund to help prepare the disability sector to meet the requirements of the NDIS Commission.
Current quality and safeguarding arrangements for the Continuity of Support Programme for people aged 65 and over will also be maintained by the Department of Communities.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government understands the challenges facing the disability sector across Western Australia in responding to the evolving situation that is COVID-19.
“At this challenging time I am focused on ensuring that Western Australians with disability, their families and their carers continue to receive the supports and services they require during the pandemic until we are ready to transition to the Commission.
“At this time of potentially significant workforce impacts and redesign of service delivery, additional changes to business operations may further affect the sustainability of services.
“It is vitally important for people with disability in Western Australia that the sector remains strong and viable, now and into the post-pandemic future.
“We remain committed to safeguarding people with disability and will maintain existing State quality and safeguarding functions during this transition.
“Western Australia is committed to transitioning to the Commission on December 1, 2020.”