April 2021 – Industry Reference Group

Industry Reference Group (IRG) Meeting: Thursday 22 April 2021

Membership update

The IRG welcomed members and accepted apologies.

NDIS update

Gerrie Mitra (NDIA) gave an update on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, NDIS Reforms, and Market Intervention trials and initial outcomes.

Members noted the update and requested further commitment to future consultations.

Employment action plan

Brent Phillips (NDIA) provided an overview of the 2021 Employment Action plan and its key focus areas, including diversified employment models, capacity building supports for young people, work experience in diverse business settings, partnering with employers, and employment for specific groups.

Members noted the update and discussed projects to increase the broader employment sector’s understanding of the contributions of people with disability, as well as the role of support coordinators and recovery coaches.

Pricing update

Dr David Cullen (NDIA) provided an update on pricing through a question and answer session.

Members noted the update and highlighted the need to build consumer capacity and confidence to discuss and agree prices for a range of supports.

Members also noted the NDIA are considering how the NDIS Price Guide may be simplified.

Individualised living options

Marita Walker (NDIA) provided an update on the national rollout of individualised living options (ILO), including the process for ILO implementation.

The NDIA also advised that it is working on a larger market enablement project to ensure the quality of ILO supports for participants. Members noted the paper. 

Frontline Leadership Role Project

Peter Stewart (Ability First Australia) gave an update on the Frontline Leadership Role Project.

The Department of Social Services funded this project via the NDIS Jobs and Market Fund.

Members noted the paper and the resources available on the Ability First Australia website.

Changes to the disability sector post-COVID-19

Members discussed their observations of the disability sector operating in a COVID-normal environment, including feedback about the screening processes implemented by state and territory governments, increased use of technology, concerns about the sector following the end of JobKeeper payments, delays in plan reviews due to change of circumstances, and increases in contractor arrangements.