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  1. New Assistant Minister for Disability Services appointed

    Queensland MP Jane Prentice has been appointed Assistant Minister for Disability Services in the Turnbull Government. She replaces Victorian Alan Tudge who has been promoted to the Human Services portfolio. Christian Porter remains as the Cabinet Minister for Social Services.

    The reshuffle creates a ministerial position that is explicitly focussed on disability services. This is justified given the large and complex matters involved in disability services reform. The precise delegation of responsibilities to the new portfolio has yet to be announced.

    Ms Prentice was elected to the Federal parliament in 2010 and before that served for 10 years on the Brisbane City Council.

    Under Christian Porter’s direction, Alan Tudge had progressively taken on responsibility for disability employment services. In a recent meeting with NDS, Mr Tudge indicated that he was reviewing the reform directions flagged in the Department’s Disability Employment Framework discussion paper.  He was seeking advice on several questions, including whether consumer choice should replace the current practice in the Disability Employment Services program of allocating market share.

    NDS welcomes Ms Prentice’s appointment and will seek to meet with her in the near future to brief her on NDS’s priorities, including those contained in our Federal Budget submission.

    Contact information:
    Daniel Kyriacou, General Manager – Communications, 0421 937 511, daniel.kyriacou@nds.org.au

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  2. NDIS Rollout in Victoria (Updates)

Please note this information on the NDIS website about the rollout of the NDIS in Victoria from this year, including where it will roll out and who can access the NDIS. http://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites/vic The NDIS website has extensive information and fact sheets about the NDIS, Please do familiarise yourself with the website and refer to it regularly if you require any information about the NDIS.

Mark Lawrence Local Engagement Officer | Agency Connections | Western Melbourne Department of Health & Human Services | 71 Moreland Street, Footscray t: 9275 7531 |  e: mark.e.lawrence@dhhs.vic.gov.au


Operational Plan for Victorian transition to the NDIS released

The Operational Plan for transition to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria has finally been released, following agreement by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the Victorian government and the Federal government. This plan sets out the implementation arrangements to give effect to the Bilateral Agreement which was signed in September 2015 by the Prime Minister and Victorian Premier.

While NDS welcomes the Operational Plan, it could be described as a ‘plan about a plan’. It identifies a program of work and the responsibilities of the parties during transition to the full NDIS. It commits the parties to work together on a very substantial work program. The scope of work is very broad ranging, and covers issues such as phasing of people into the scheme, workforce arrangements, continuity of support arrangements, management of interfaces between NDIS and mainstream services and cash and in-kind supports.

While the plan outlines various timelines for sub-programs of work, it is disappointing that one of these has already not been met. Members are still awaiting release of the sub-area phasing strategy for North East Melbourne Area which was due to have been confirmed by Quarter 2 of 2015/16. This will be critical to support members during their planning transition. NDS is seeking the urgent release of this document.

Contact information:

Sarah Fordyce, Policy Manager Victoria, 03 8341 4303, sarah.fordyce@nds.org.au

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