Brief Snapshot of the 2021 Federal Budget

This is a brief snapshot for QDN members of the budget initiatives announced on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

QDN welcomes the Federal Government budget announcements, specifically related to people with disability and looks forward to seeing more details about the specific commitments as the budget is rolled out.

QDN will keep members updated with more detailed analysis as we get more information about these budget announcements.

Summary of key announcements:

  • $13.2 billion boost for the NDIS over 4 years. The Federal Budget forecasts that the NDIS will cost almost $32 billion in 2024-25, expenditure that is comparable to the cost of Medicare.
  • $17.7bn aged care system overhaul will be invested over four years to respond to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
  • $2.3bn mental health package to include aftercare services for people who attempt suicide and a world-leading online platform for counselling, clinical support and referrals.
  • $1.1bn additional funds for domestic violence prevention and early intervention
  • $12.3 million will be expended over the next two years to improve the alignment of the regulation that applies to the disability and aged care sectors.
  • Under the aged care payment measures, almost $106 million will be spent on introducing a nationally consistent worker screening, register and code of conduct for all care sector workers.
  • A total of $12.7 million of new funds over five years will be directed to initiatives aimed at improving the health of people with intellectual disability. Including:
    • Annual Health Assessments ($6.7 million)
    • Scoping and co-designing a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability ($1.4 million)
    • Consultation on the inclusion of mandatory competencies in health care for people with intellectual disability in tertiary education health curricula.
  • Almost $18 million over four years will be used to establish a new early childhood program delivering a range of disability-specific information, workshops and supported playgroups for young children aged 0 to 8 years with disability or developmental needs.
  • For employment, a range of programs and initiatives will receive almost $260 million to provide additional support to job seekers, including:
    • $213.5 million over four years to expand the Local Jobs Program (which supports approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling, and employment pathways in selected regions)
    • $15.6 million in the next financial year to increase all wage subsidies to $10,000 for eligible participants in jobactive, Transition to Work, and ParentsNext. Unfortunately, this measure does not include DES.
    • 450,000 new training places for jobseekers and young people
  • Over the next four years, $20 million will be spent on continuing and improving the collection of this data on school students with disability (which is used to make funding decisions).
  • There were a range of housing focused announcements which mainly focus on home ownership measures including “Family Home Guarantee” for single parents, extension of first home loan deposit scheme by 10,000 places, first home owners super save scheme increased to $50,000 cap and for older Australians to make a tax-free contribution to their super from proceeds of selling their home.
  • Childcare subsidy of up to 95 per cent for low and middle-income families
  • Tax breaks of up to $1080 for workers earning up to $126,000.

Fitting providers together in your NDIS support puzzle

On-line forum Monday 14 June 2021

The Hopkins Centre in collaboration with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) would like to invite you to be a part of an online forum about fitting providers together in your National Disability

Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded support package.

Come together to hear different views from people with disability, their families and advocates. Share your experiences managing your supports from many providers, to help shape solutions and ensure

quality and safety in provision of your supports.

Lets work together for a better working NDIS.

Date: Monday 14 June 2021

Time: 11.00am – 1.00pm (QLD time)

Click here to register

Click here for the flyer 

 

Media Release: QDN welcomes new minimum housing accessibility standards.

QDN welcomes the announcement of the inclusion of minimum accessibility provisions for new and extensively modified residential housing and apartments in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, based on the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) silver standards.

QDN is a member of a coalition of more than 100 peak organisations who formed the Building Better Homes (BBH) Campaign, which called for mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code.

QDN acknowledges the Hon. Mick de Brenni, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement who has championed this issue nationally taking it to Council of Australian Government Housing Ministers. QDN members thank Minister de Brenni for his strong leadership shown,that will deliver future benefits to more than three quarters of Australians.

QDN members across the state have been actively engaging in this campaign with both State and Commonwealth Ministers and Members of Parliament to let them know why this change was so important in the lives of people with disability, our families and the broader community.

QDN Board Chair, Des Ryan said “QDN and other peak organisations had pushed for a gold accessibility standard to be applied but welcomed the introduction of a silver standard. My thanks to QDN members for your active engagement and I am pleased that the voice of people with disability has been heard.  Australia’s new housing standards in the NCC are a big win for people with disability”.

“Gold-standard accessibility is still a possibility for Australia’s states and territories, which can progress towards gold-level standard over time.  We want to see as many housing projects as possible meet gold standard, and we look forward to working with Queensland government to move towards including gold-level standards in this jurisdiction.” said Mr Ryan.

A technical referral pathway will be put in place so the various jurisdictions can upgrade over time to a gold-level standard for housing.

“This reform will change the lives of millions of Australians – including people with disabilities and older Australians who simply couldn’t find housing that meets their needs”.

QDN CEO Paige Armstrong said today “Queenslanders with disability, families and supporters have called for this change, which will enable people to have a place they can call home that is accessible and meets their needs”.

The national minimum accessibility silver standard include simple but crucial features of the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines, such as:

  • At least one step-free entrance door
  • Wider internal doors and corridors
  • Toilet on ground level (or entry level)

“Since 2015 QDN has held a strong position about the fundamental right all people have, to housing that the accessible, affordable, secure and well-located in communities”.

QDN is an organisation by and for people with disability with over 1,500 members and supporters across the state. QDN’s mission is “to empower all people with disability to be fully included as active, valued citizens in the social and economic life of the community”.

END

Media contact: QDN CEO: Paige Armstrong 0408 720 099

Open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services

QDN Board of Directors Chair Des Ryan, and Chief Executive Officer Paige Armstrong have written an open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services to welcome her to her new role. The letter provides feedback from QDN members with regards to the proposed reforms to the NDIS and calls on the Government to suspend the implementation of these changes, review and undertake meaningful consultation, engagement and co-design with people with people with disability, families, and providers.  Click on the link below to go to the letter .

Click here: Open letter to Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds  

MEDIA RELEASE: Housing crisis by design

More than three quarters of Australians with mobility issues cannot find housing that meets their needs – and it’s a growing problem as our population ages, especially in regional and remote locations.

Rockhampton local, Des Ryan has first-hand experience of housing accessibility challenges. “The only way I was able to secure housing that was affordable and met my disability needs was to build it from scratch” Des said.

Luckily, my parents were prepared to financially support me doing this. However, not all people with disability are able to build a home and face ongoing, housing accessibility challenges”.

“My accessible home gave me the launchpad to achieve a wonderful life – working in employment I enjoy, having a great range of friends and getting out and about in the community.”

New research by La Trobe University and the Summer Foundation has found that many access issues could be easily and inexpensively fixed at the housing design stage.

This research adds to growing calls for the inclusion of mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code – to future proof Australian housing.

The evidence-based research found that many features that make housing accessible for seniors and people with disability would be virtually cost-neutral, and they are cost-effective when designed into new houses, apartments and townhouses.

A coalition of more than 70 peak organisations have formed the Building Better Homes (BBH) Campaign, to call for mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code.

A meeting of Commonwealth, state and Territory Building Ministers in late April will consider whether to make accessibility standards mandatory.

BBH Campaign Director, Alistair Webster, says the Ministers have a once in a generation opportunity to change the lives of millions of Australians.

‘Mandatory minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code will future-proof Australian housing for generations to come,’ Mr Webster said.

‘This reform will change the lives of millions of Australians – including people with disabilities and older Australians who simply can’t find housing that meets their needs. Many of these people are currently limited inter day to day activities because their housing isn’t suitable.’

‘Design elements such as wider hallways and doorways would vastly increase their housing options. It would also ensure that big reforms like the NDIS and Aged Care reforms can be fully realised.’

‘We urge governments across Australia not to let this opportunity slip by.’

Media contact:

BBH Campaign: Alistair Webster, 0499 760 777