QDN e-News 22 December 2023

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Disability Action Week webinar recording   

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 2023 Disability Action Week webinar. It was an insightful session where we heard from guest speakers Minister Craig Crawfor, Minister Di Farmer, and Urbis Director Julie Saunders who spoke about how the skills of people with disability, both as business owners and employees, are driving commercial success, and what’s possible for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane 2032.  

We also enjoyed an informative and inspiring panel discussion with Robert Chandler and Madisen Ward from the Australian Defence Force & Endeavour Partnership, Geoff Smith from Australian Spatial Analytics, and Donna Toussaint from Thinking of You Gift. 

We encourage members who weren’t able to attend to catch up on the recording of the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC_dYAdxNVE  

Inclusive employment for people with disability – learn more about microbusiness 

On 29 November, (then) Minister Crawford launched a series of videos spotlighting people with disability who have started their own microbusinesses. The videos promote the opportunities that owning and operating a micro business can create for people with disability and show how each person’s micro business has created choice and added value to their lives. Microbusinesses are built around a person’s interests and strengths, and provide choice, control and flexibility. For some people, owning and operating a microbusiness can be a meaningful alternative to other types of employment. 

In partnership with the department of Child Safety, Seniors, and Disability Services, we have also created fact sheets about the benefits of starting a microbusiness, where to start and where to find out more information. 


Watch their stories: 

Fact sheets 

Find out more about starting your own micro business: 

Christmas office closure and supports  

The QDN office will be closed for Christmas from Friday 22 December 2023 at 1pm and will reopen on at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2024 

We understand the Christmas period can sometimes be a difficult time, so we have put together a resource for members which lists various support services around Queensland, available on the QDN website.  

Available here: https://qdn.org.au/qdn-2023-christmas-office-closure-and-supports/  

Lift Payment to be doubled on Christmas Day 

The Queensland Government has approved doubling the Lift Payment for wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) drivers on Christmas Day – from $20 to $40. 

On 25 December 2023 only, a Lift Payment of $40 (inclusive of GST), will apply for each eligible WAT trip involving transport of a Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) member who is required to travel in a wheelchair. As per the standard Lift Payment process, the whole $40 incentive will be paid to the driver. 

The Lift Payment is not part of the taxi fare so there will be no additional costs for passengers. 

Pre-booking Christmas Day taxi services 

Last Wednesday, at the Accessible Taxi Services working group meeting, the discussion focused on pre-booking taxis for Christmas Day and emphasized the importance of ensuring there are enough drivers to meet the demand, especially for passengers requiring assistance. 

Disability Sector agreed to spread the message, particularly to people who will be traveling in wheelchair-accessible taxis. 

If you are planning to catch a taxi on Christmas Day, contact your local taxi company now to secure your booking! Booking in advance helps taxi companies plan enough services to meet the high demand on Christmas Day. 

If you encounter any issues with your taxi on the day, please contact your taxi company directly for an update. 

National Cabinet agrees to fund foundational supports outside of the NDIS 

On Wednesday 6 December National Cabinet reached to work together to: 

  • Implement legislative and other changes to the NDIS to improve the experience of participants and restore the original intent of the Scheme to support people with permanent and significant disability, within a broader ecosystem of supports. 
  • Adjust state and territory NDIS contribution escalation rates, increasing from 4 per cent to be in line with actual Scheme growth, capped at 8 per cent, with the Commonwealth paying the remainder of Scheme costs growth, commencing from 1 July 2028. 

The National Cabinet also agreed to jointly design additional Foundational Supports to be jointly commissioned by the Commonwealth and the states, with the work oversighted by the First Secretaries Group. Additionally, the Council of Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) will oversight costs of the reforms and report to National Cabinet. 

Read the full update from the Hon Anthony Albanese MP here: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/meeting-national-cabinet-federation-working-australia  

 2023 QDN Member Survey closing 22 December – have your say now!   

Do you want to have a say in QDN’s strategic priorities and direction? QDN's strategic plan is up for review and we are inviting members to provide feedback and input into our key priorities and important issues as we move forward over the next three years.   

The survey aims to gather your feedback on what is currently working well, areas that require change, and suggestions for potential improvements.  

You can complete the survey online, ask for a paper hard copy to be posted to you or talk to someone on the phone to assist you and/or support you. If you need any support with completing the survey or have any questions, call us on 1300 363 783 or email us at qdn@qdn.org.au.   

Find out more information and take the survey here: https://bit.ly/40FsJxT 

Video: Meet the QDN team! Pending changes  

Get to know the faces behind QDN in our new meet the team video. Learn about their roles, what makes them tick, and the things they love most about their jobs!  

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF4DF8q9jSA

Queensland Equal & Together Alliance 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism is an annual international campaign that starts on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10th December, Human Rights Day. The campaign is promoting action for gender equality through the 16 Days of Activism. The campaign includes the Challenging for Change: everyday actions for equality card deck – a resource to support you to have conversations about gender-based violence and actions you can take to contribute to preventing gender-based violence. 

You might learn something new, find an interesting article to read, and reflect on the factors that drive violence and what you might be able to influence or action in your home, workplace, school or community. 

For more information about the campaign and to download Challenge for Change: everyday actions for equality, visit the QuETA website. 

Learn more here: https://wheq.org.au/programs/equal-together/ 

Survey - It’s time to improve airline travel for people living with disability 

Physical Disability Australia (PDA) recently wrote a Position Statement on the Treatment of Passengers with Physical Disabilities on Airlines and in Australian Airports which will be included as a submission to the Aviation White Paper. The White Paper will guide and set long-term policies of growth, improvement and innovation in the aviation sector and will work to improve accessibility and airline practices/systems that ensure the provision of inclusive air travel experiences for all air travellers. 

As part of their submission we would like to include the air travel experiences of our community and provide the White Paper Team with a better understanding of issues affecting those travelling with a physical disability. If you are interested in being part of this important discussion and inform our submission to the Aviation White Paper, please take part in our extremely short survey by going to: 


To read PDA’s Position Statement on the Treatment of Passengers with Physical Disabilities on Airlines and in Australian Airports, please go to:   


2023 Queensland Community Achievement Awards  

Michelle Moss was presented as a Finalist in the prestigious Quota Beenleigh Leadership Award by Karen Murphy, Past International President - Quota International and a Quota Beenleigh Club Member, during the 2023 Queensland Australian Community Achievement Awards Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday 17 November 2023 at the Royal on the Park Brisbane. 

Hosted by Kendall Gilding, 7NEWS Presenter, more than 350 guests gathered from across the State to celebrate Queensland’s high achievers. 

Read more here: https://qdn.org.au/qdn-ceo-michelle-moss-presented-at-state-awards/  

The Learning from Empowered Parents Documentary 

These short films were created by parents with intellectual disability, co designed with a small team from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).  

The Learning from Empowered Parents Documentary is a question-and-answer documentary, where parents with intellectual disability share parts of their lived experience from when they were involved with child protection. The Compare the Parents Short Film is a sequence of snapshots that compares a parent with intellectual disability and a parent without disability, and the unconscious bias parents with intellectual disability face during pregnancy and after. Please note, these resources come with a trigger warning. 

Watch the Learning from Empowered Parents Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNK03xrFNq  

Watch the Compare the Parents Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUvPIiEUQYc 

Disability, Seniors, and Carers e-Blast

You can subscribe to the DSC e-blast newsletter by clicking on the link below.

Link to subscribe: click here

Policy update 

Policy Update, there is a image of a tick in a box with an arrow coming out the side of the box and circling around back to point at the box.

National COVID Update: Important to stay safe  

Another wave of COVID-19 is spreading across Australia and not expected to peak until Christmas. We would like to remind our members and supporters about the importance of staying COVID safe. Remember to:  

  • Wear a mask when needed (indoor public spaces, public transport, hospitals) 
  • Maintain physical distance (1.5 metres if possible) 
  • Avoid high-risk settings (especially if you are exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms, or have tested positive)  
  • Practice good hygiene (wash your hands, use hand sanitiser, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose)  

Find out more here: https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/protect-yourself-and-others  

New resources have been produced by a collaboration of Support Coordinators across Australia to help understand how best to prepare and protect people with disabilities and their families. Download the information kit here: https://www.thegrowingspace.com.au/covid-19-for-scs/  

Last month, ATAGI identified additional vaccine options. However, dose and eligibility requirements have not changed. You can find full details on their COVID-19 booster vaccine advice webpage here: https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/covid-19-vaccines/getting-your-vaccination/booster-doses#booster-doses  

Changes to National Coronavirus Helpline and Easy Vaccine Access Services 

Australia has now adopted a similar approach to managing COVID-19 as it does with other commonly occurring infectious diseases. There are several well-known services available to give COVID-19 health advice and information. 

Healthdirect is the best place for People living in Australia to look for COVID-19 health advice. Their website has general information on a variety of topics such as testing, isolation, long COVID, and recovery. Bookmark www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19 on your web browser to keep this link handy.  

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by staying up to date with your vaccinations. Use the Service Finder to locate COVID-19 vaccine providers in Australia. It is the best way to compare clinics, check availability and book an appointment in one place. Available in 15 languages, the Service Finder through healthdirect provides access to more than 300 other healthcare services, including COVID-19 vaccination. Find and book your next COVID-19 vaccination here: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services  

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, use the Symptom Checker to help you decide what to do next. Visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker to check your symptoms and find out if you might need medical help. 

If you feel unwell or need COVID-19 advice for someone in your care, talk with your doctor, or speak to a nurse by calling the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222. 

If you develop symptoms such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call triple zero (000) immediately. Tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival if you have COVID-19. 

The Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023 has been enacted 

The Disability Services and Inclusion Bill 2023 has been enacted and will replace the Disability Services Act 1986. The new Bill went through two rounds of consultation and is designed to support people with disability to participate fully in society, exercise choice and control over their lives and to improve job opportunities, job readiness and support in employment. The new Bill will see: 

  • a new legislative framework for funding and regulation of programs for people with disability, their families and carers,  
  • legislative authority for new and existing spending on disability related programs outside the NDIS, and  
  • grants made under the new Bill will be supported by appropriate quality safeguards. 

Read the Disability Services and Inclusion Bill here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2023B00144  

An easy English version of how government changed the Bill can be found here: https://engage.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/dss-disability-services-act-repeal-er-fa-accessible.pdf  

Have your say on the recommendations made by the Disability Royal Commission 

You are invited to provide your views on the recommendations made by the Disability Royal Commission in its final report via a questionnaire that you can complete online or via post. Your feedback will inform the Government’s response to the Disability Royal Commission final report. 

If you would like support with completing the questionnaire, please contact us at qdn@qdn.org.au or 1300 363 or 783. 

You can find out more and have your say on the DSS website: https://engage.dss.gov.au/drcausgovresponse/have-your-say 

Recap from QDN’s Disability Royal Commission forums 

QDN has just delivered the final Disability Royal Commission member forum, in a series of three forums that covered housing, health, and employment. We would like to thank all our members who participated in these forums, your feedback and insights are invaluable.  

The next steps will be to report to the Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services about what we heard in the forums from members. This will help to inform Queensland Government’s response to the Disability Royal Commission recommendations. QDN will also be submitting feedback on the recommendations as part of the Department of Social Services consultation process. 

Learn more here: https://engage.dss.gov.au/drcausgovresponse/have-your-say/  

2023 State of the Disability Sector Report released 

NDS’s State of the Disability Sector Report 2023 was released on 11 December 2023. The report is based on responses from 432 disability service providers from all over the country who took part in NDS’ annual State of the Disability Sector Survey. 

The report found the highest rate of providers reporting a loss since the survey began collecting financial data in 2016 and makes it clear that disability sector reforms cannot be delayed. 

Read the report here: https://www.nds.org.au/about/state-of-the-disability-sector-report  

Grants for supported employment 

In October, the Australian Government announced the Structural Adjustment Fund as part of the 2023–24 Budget. The grant opportunity will support the employment of people with high support needs, with a view of assisting the sector to evolve in line with the guiding principles for the future of supported employment. The Fund will seek to support projects that enable the introduction of innovative approaches to: 

  • create pathways to open employment 
  • allow supported employment workplaces to better meet community expectations 
  • create sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability. 

Read more: https://www.nds.org.au/news/DSS-announces-three-grants-for-supported-employment  

Providers of group-based supports moving to new pricing by 31 December 

Providers of group-based supports in the community or a centre must move to new pricing arrangements by 31 December 2023, following multiple extensions of transitional arrangements. From 1 January 2024, Transitional Arrangements for Community and Centre Based Group Activities will not be claimable. 

More information here: https://www.nds.org.au/news/Deadline-for-NDIS-Group-based-supports-to-transition-to-new-pricing-fast-approaching  

New QCAT Practice Direction 

The QCAT President, The Honourable Justice Kerri Mellifont has issued QCAT Practice Direction No. 4 of 2023 - Applications for residential tenancy disputes, effective from 9 November 2023.  

The Practice Direction explains the process used in QCAT for residential tenancy disputes (“tenancy dispute”). It sets out what each party must do prior to and at the hearing so that QCAT can deal with the matter in a way that is informed, fair and efficient. 

Practice Direction No. 4 of 2023 provides information on what applicants and respondents need to do, information on managing documents and photographs (including in QCase, the online portal to securely file applications, referrals or documents electronically, view, manage and respond to your minor civil dispute case), video footage, ensuring details are up-to-date, and naming correct party/parties.  

Read more here: https://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/resources/practice-directions#2023 

Access the direction here: https://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/782225/practice-direction-4-of-2023-applications-for-residential-tenancy-disputes.pdf  


What's on

Peer Support Groups

  • Monday, 15 January 2024, Brisbane State online meeting,10:30-12:30pm, online via Zoom.
  • Wednesday, 17 January 2024, Deception Bay Peer Support Group, 10:30-12:30, Deception Bay Darts Club, 32 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay.
  • Wednesday, 17 January 2024, Brisbane Peer Support Group, 10:30-12:00pm, QDN office - 308 Turbot street, Spring Hill.
  • Thursday, 18 January 2024, Parenting Peer Support Group, 11:00-1:00pm, QDN office and online via Zoom.
  • Thursday, 18 January 2024, Toowoomba Peer Support Group, 3:30-5:00pm, Toowoomba City Library and Online via Zoom
  • Friday, 19 January 2024, Cairns Yarning Circle,12:30-2:00pm, Rights in Action Office, 88 Abbott St, Cairns
  • Saturday, 20 January 2024, Ipswich Peer Support Group, 11:00-1:00pm, Club Services Ipswich (CSI), 5 Lowry St, North Ipswich (Table 31)

QDN Disability Royal Commission member forum – Employment   

QDN hosted another member forum on the Disability Royal Commission Final Report last week, focusing on employment. This forum provided an opportunity to come together and discuss recommendations as well as gather member feedback.

The session was recorded, and the link will be provided to QDN members upon request.

Get Ready, Plan Ahead Workshops in Logan 

These free workshops are specifically designed to support people with disability how to prepare for emergencies, including floods, cyclones, bushfires, and heatwaves. These workshops are presented by people with disability, for people with disability. Workshops are designed to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. The Logan workshops are delivered in two parts (Part A and Part B) across six different locations between October 2023 and March 2024. 

Register here: https://www.logan.qld.gov.au/pcep-workshops 

QDN Membership  

If you or someone you know would like to be a QDN member apply here:  https://qdn.org.au/membership/qdn-member-application/  

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