Monday, 20 November 2017
Latest Disability Scheme figures: State Government must use COAG to get better outcomes for SA
Dignity Party Leader, MLC Kelly Vincent says the latest National Disability Insurance Scheme quarterly report figures show the State Government need to exert more pressure on the Federal Government and relevant Ministers to meet the needs of South Australians with disability, as thousands continue to be approved for NDIS access, but go without services, such as therapies and equipment they desperately need. **
“While I am a strong supporter of the NDIS, it is clear that South Australians are getting a raw deal when it comes to responsible management and collaboration between the State and Federal Governments,” says Kelly Vincent.
“The complaints to my office about sub-par planning processes, delays in planning and approvals and extensive waits for equipment and home modifications continue. Additionally, many small business service providers are owed tens of thousands of dollars because of plan review appeals, problems with service bookings, and ongoing challenges with the My Place portal.”
“Forums such as COAG often result in substantive action taken by our leaders on other issues that are considered high priority in this state. I’m calling on Premier Jay Weatherill and Disability Minister Katrine Hildyard to finally prioritise disability, or be prepared to explain why they have not.”
“While we were early adopters of the NDIS, as a small state, the government needs to constantly assert our rights to access our fair share of funding and timely service now that disability supports are federally coordinated rather than provided at state level.”
“The new figures show that South Australia is nearly 800 people short of our bilateral target for expected participants. Additionally, there’s more than 4,000 people either still waiting for a plan, plan review or with other complications. We wanted the NDIS to make waiting lists a thing of the past.”
“I also note that the utilisation rate for funded supports for 2016-17 in SA was only 55 percent, suggesting that plan appeals, confusion about payments systems and the My Place portal, and service system bookings are creating problems for NDIS participants and resulting in inability to access supports. This does not fit with the NDIS philosophy of choice and control.”
“I have had only a couple of days to process these figures, but I would like to think that Minister Hildyard read the report three weeks ago when it was lodged with COAG, and is ready announce the Government’s plan to remedy this situation. South Australians know only too well what can happen when reports aren’t heeded by the responsible minister, as we have seen in recent times.”
**Each quarter, in accordance with section 174 of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, a quarterly report is produced for COAG. The Q1 2017-18 has just been released and can be accessed here, and has detailed information for each state and territory.