The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reached a major milestone recently with Queensland joining six other states and territories with full scheme agreements.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, said the Queensland agreement represents the Morrison Government’s priority in delivering the NDIS for an estimated 500,000 Australians with disability through the NDIS over the next five years.
“This is a great day for Queenslanders. It means they can rest assured the NDIS will be there to support them if they need it now, and into the future,” Minister Robert said.
“More than 50,000 people with disability in my home state are already benefiting from the NDIS. Crucially, almost one in three of these people have never received disability supports before.”
The NDIS is available now to all eligible Queenslanders. The full scheme agreement puts in place long-term funding and governance arrangements between governments, from 1 July 2020.
“The Queensland and Australian governments have agreed to continue transitional arrangements to 1 July 2020 in recognition of the state’s current participant numbers, which are lower than estimated,” Minister Robert said.
Under the agreement, Queensland has committed to paying fixed contributions from the commencement of full Scheme arrangements in 2020-21. This includes an annual value of $2.13 billion in 2020-21, which will be indexed each year until at least mid-2028.
The Commonwealth has committed to paying the balance of NDIS costs in Queensland and will also provide Queensland with access to $1.95 billion in DisabilityCare Australia Fund (DCAF) payments to 2023-24.
“I also want to reassure all current NDIS participants and anyone else engaging with the scheme that today’s agreement will not affect their plans and they will continue to receive supports uninterrupted,” said Minister Robert.
Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Coralee O’Rourke said this was an important day for Queenslanders with disability.
“The Palaszczuk Government was committed to ensuring the NDIS Full Scheme Agreement funded disability services in a fair, equitable and sustainable way into the future,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“The NDIS is making life-changing differences to the approximately 50,000 Queenslanders with disability who are in the scheme, which is now available in all areas of Queensland.
“This agreement recognises that participant numbers during the transition period in Queensland have fallen short of meeting the bilaterally-agreed participant estimate of 91,217.
“In finalising these important negotiations, both levels of government have agreed to a temporary continuation of the terms of the NDIS Transition Bilateral Agreement for at least a further 12 months, with the Full Scheme Agreement to commence from 1 July 2020.
“This agreement puts Queenslanders with disability first and ensures our state only pays its fair share of the funding, particularly while tens of thousands of our residents continue to transition into the Scheme.
“Importantly, this agreement gives us more certainty around the funding contributions of each government going forward.
“Under the agreement, the State can now access its share of the DCAF, and is to be reimbursed for services provided by Queensland on an in-kind basis.”
Mrs O’Rourke said more than $3 billion in support dollars had been committed to Queensland participants in their NDIS plans, and that these funds will continue to generate jobs across Queensland.
“In recent years, the Palaszczuk Government has made significant investments to Queenslanders with disability, the state’s disability sector, and to bolster the efforts of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA),” she said.
“The Queensland Government looks forward to continuing to work with the Commonwealth Government and the NDIA on strategic investments to ensure all Queenslanders can benefit from the NDIS over the coming months and years.
Full scheme financial arrangements in Western Australia, which joined the national scheme later, are not scheduled to start until 2023.