QDN e-Bulletin Update July 2021

A NOTE FROM DES

Des Ryan, Chairperson of the Board

A man in a sitting position with a grey jacket and a blue and green striped button up shirt, wearing glasses.

With this emerging COVID situation and the challenges this can bring for everyone, we encourage members and supporters to stay updated with information, get tested if have symptoms and get vaccinated if you can. Please check our Covid-19 update in this newsletter for more information.

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Date Claimer – QDN E-Scooter Forum

A number of members have identified a range of challenges and issues around the e-scooters. QDN is holding a forum to identify how to minimise risks of e Scooters and what action is needed. There will be guest speakers that are yet to be announced.

The forum will be held on Wednesday 4 August, 4.00-5.30pm.

To register please head here. 

Vaccination Update

People with disability and their support workers remain a priority for vaccination bookings. You can find information on how to register here.

If you haven’t yet had your first dose we encourage you to make arrangements to get one – the online booking system can take some time, so you can also call the COVID phone line on 134 268. Be prepared to sit on hold for a while, but they are operating 24 hours a day and they are very helpful.

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NDIS Consultations

The NDIS has released two consultation papers recently – one is for Home and Living and the other is around Supported Decision Making. QDN will be making submissions and we are keen to hear members views to inform our responses. We are holding an online consultation and invite QDN members or supporters to take part.

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Plan to Introduce Independent Assessments “Will not Proceed”

Thanks to everyone’s hard work and lobbying, the Minister for the NDIS Senator, the Honourable Linda Reynolds, announced last Friday 9 July 2021 that the plan to introduce Independent Assessments will “not proceed”. Her press release after last Friday’s Ministers meeting can be found here.

The Disability Reform Minister’s meeting have released the communique from their meeting on 9 July 2021. You can read the summary of the meeting here.

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COVID-19 restrictions update 

There have been three new community cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Mask-wearing restrictions will be extended for seven days until 6am on Friday, 23 July. People in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan City, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast must continue to wear masks whenever they leave home (with exceptions if you are unable to wear one).  Restrictions will ease in the local government areas of Townsville and Palm Island at 6am tomorrow as planned.

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MEDIA RELEASE: We all want a sustainable and viable NDIS but mandatory independent assessments are not the way

Queenslanders with disability, their families, supporters and service providers are clear that a sustainable and viable NDIS is important to everyone, but do not support that the proposed NDIS reforms or compulsory independent assessments are the way of achieving this. The NDIS is changing the lives of Queenslanders with disability and the broader community, including 45,000 Queenslanders who are for the very first time getting much needed disability support. Australian’s supported the introduction of the NDIS. We heard that the system needed to change and Australian’s said yes to the NDIS to ensure people with disability can access the individual supports they need and have choice and control over their services.

On Friday 9 July, Disability Ministers from across Australia are coming together to meet with the Commonwealth at the Disability Reform Council (DRC) meeting to discuss the proposed NDIS reforms. There has been broad community feedback the introduction of compulsory independent assessments for NDIS participants and the broader changes are not supported.

It is important that State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers are listening to people with disability, their families and the sector about what is going to work to deliver a world class, quality and sustainable NDIS. Any changes and reforms must involve people with disability, families and the disability sector in the design and discussion.

As a coalition of seven organisations who hosted the online forum, ”we are pleased that the Queensland Disability Minister, Hon Craig Crawford MP, Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships has listened to Queenslanders and is not supporting the reforms at the DRC meeting on Friday 9 July.”

Minister Crawford said, “We are opposed to mandatory independent assessments in their current form. We are not opposed to good ideas, but any changes around scheme sustainability needs to include people with disability, their families and the sector at the table to inform and co-design the approach. The Palaszczuk Government will continue to listen to Queenslanders and does not support the current NDIS reforms.”

On the 19 May 2021, a collaboration of sector peak bodies, advocacy and disability organisations came together to host an online forum – Pause, Reset, Co-design NDIS Reforms. Almost 250 registered participants that included people with disability, family members, supporters and service providers came together to discuss the current NDIS reforms on the table. The clear message from this forum to the Queensland Government was that mandatory independent assessments and a one-size fits all approach was not supported. The message from people was that in their current form, these NDIS reforms will destroy the scheme’s fundamental foundation of support based on individual needs and choice and control around services and supports.

A sustainable and viable NDIS is in the best interests of people with disability and their families. It is in the best interests of the fastest growing sector delivering disability services and supports. It is also in the best interests of the Australian community, delivering not only essential and fundamental supports to people with disability so they can live their day to day lives, but also economic contributions to communities delivering jobs and spending.

It is important that we work together. People and their families who use the services and the people who deliver the supports are best able to inform what changes need to happen to make it work for everyone. A one-size fits all approach is not going to work.

Queenslanders with disability, families, supporters and providers will continue to work with all levels of Government to ensure the NDIS remains focused on people as individuals delivering choice and control and access to essential everyday supports.

Media contacts:

Paige Armstrong, Queenslanders with Disability Network  ceo@qdn.org.au  0408 720 099

Collaboration of sector peak bodies, advocacy and disability organisations:

Queenslanders with Disability Network

Queensland Alliance for Mental Health

ADA Australia – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland

National Disability Services

Community Services Industry Alliance

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

Parent to Parent Queensland

Queenslanders with Disability Network, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, ADA Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, Parent to Parent Queensland

Making Rent Fair campaign

Overview

QDN members have consistently raised concerns about the housing rental market and QDN has strongly advocated for an accessible, affordable, and fair housing rental market.

To further our advocacy, QDN has joined the Make Renting Fair Alliance which supports reform of our renting laws so that all Queenslanders can feel safe in their home, whether they rent or own. The alliance has been led by Tenants Queensland, which is the peak body funded in this state to represent the interests of people in the social, community and private rental market.

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Current NDIS consultation papers

Home and Living consultation – An ordinary life at home

The NDIS is developing a new Home and Living policy to inform the way they support participants to pursue their home and living goals. The aim is to give participants more choice and control over where they live, who the live with and the support they use.

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