September 2020 – SDA Reference Group

SDA Meeting: Wednesday 23 September 2020

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed all members and noted apologies.

Future of the SDA Reference Group

Gerrie Mitra (Chair) advised members that this would be the final meeting of the current SDA Reference Group. The NDIA will refresh the Terms of Reference for a new 12-month term and renew the Group’s membership through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process.

Members made several suggestions for the draft Terms of Reference, including noting the importance of a strong participant voice, the benefits of meeting virtually, and a clear purpose for the group. There were also suggestions for creating a work plan before releasing the EOI.

DSS Update

Matt Flavel (DSS) outlined the policy work DSS is undertaking to ensure the SDA market functions as efficiently as possible. The work includes considering how to encourage alternative private investment into the SDA market and providing basic information on the SDA market and how it works. This work is not intended to displace existing investors.

Members suggested considering the language used so as not to deter additional investors to the market, expediting the inclusion of supports into eligible participants’ plans, and stimulating funding by linking to SDA objectives such as targeting innovative initiatives or thin markets. 

Robust Working Group

Gerrie Mitra expressed thanks to the Robust Working Group for their work.

Members noted the benefits of breaking up into focused working groups, and the importance of ensuring next steps for this work is on the agenda when the Reference Group resumes.  Members emphasised that good robust housing does not entrench restrictive practices but should complement positive behaviour support. They also highlighted the importance of training and supporting SIL providers.

SDA Data

Sarah Johnson (Scheme Actuary) advised that the data from the data plan shared in today’s meeting will be included in the 30 September 2020 NDIS data release (the Quarterly Report to Disability Ministers) and on the NDIS Data Insights website.

Feedback from members included a suggestion that the NDIA consider publishing demand data by dwelling category and building type, to help providers identify in more detail what housing needs are in demand. 

Reflection and thanks

Members stressed the need for investment in supported decision-making and access to independent advocacy, particularly for participants who are in SDA or those seeking SDA.

Gerrie thanked members for their contribution to the Group and work throughout the term.