QDN e-News Video December 2022 Week 1


Opportunity to provide a statement to the committee at a hearing

21 October 2022

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) intends to hold public hearings in late 2022 and February/March 2023 in relation to the inquiry into the Capability and Culture of the NDIA.

The committee is particularly interested in hearing from individuals with lived experience of disability, their family members, and their support networks. The committee is committed to conducting hearings in a COVID-safe manner and in a way that is accessible.

If you would like to provide a short, spoken statement (approximately 5–10 minutes) before the committee at a hearing, please register your interest below via email or phone with:

  • Your name
  • Your state/city
  • A telephone number and email address so that we can contact you
  • Whether you would prefer to appear in person or via teleconference/videoconference
  • Any accessibility requirements.

Email: NDIS.joint@aph.gov.au  Phone:  02 6277 3083 Post: PO BOX 6100, Parliament House, Canberra

Please feel free to share this information with your networks.

Opportunities for individuals to provide short statements in November 2022:

  • Thursday 3 November (Newcastle)
  • Friday 4 November (Sydney)
  • Monday 14 November (Perth)
  • Thursday 17 November (Geelong)
  • Friday 18 November (Melbourne)
  • Friday 25 November (Canberra)

Opportunities at future hearings

The committee intends to hold further hearings in February and March 2023 in other parts of Australia. Details of future hearings and further information will be provided later this year.

Office of the Public Advocate

Online Panel discussion: HealthCare Conversations

The Australian government released the budget on the 25th October 2022 which had a significant focus on the NDIS and Housing. Key items include increased funding for the NDIS across budget estimates, addressing service provider fraud, and an increased allocation for systemic advocacy. Other items to notes include funding for a Centre for Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health and increased support for resolving disputes. The announcement of a National Housing Accord and increased investment in social and affordable housing.

In recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, join OPA for an online panel and Q&A session facilitated by people with lived experience of disability.

Date: Thursday 8 December

Time: 2-3pm

Location: Online (Zoom)

This session includes a presentation of the professionally produced 'HealthCare Conversations' video featuring people with lived experience of disability speaking candidly about ways health professionals can communicate effectively with people with disabilities, ensuring they are able to make decisions about their own health care.

This will be followed by panel members elaborating on their own personal experiences with health care professionals. Audience members will then be invited to ask questions.

This session is free but bookings are essential.

If you have any accessibility requirements please email opaeducation@justice.vic.gov.au

Media release

The Honourable Craig Crawford

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

New state disability plan to create a better Queensland - together

The Palaszczuk Government has today unveiled Queensland’s new disability plan – the state’s first since the full transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Disability Services Minister Craig Crawford said Queensland’s Disability Plan 2022-27, Together, a better Queensland is a plan for the one-in-five Queenslanders living with disability, including those in the NDIS.

“More than 900,000 Queenslanders live with disability, and we are committed to making sure that people with disability have what they need to live their best lives,” Mr Crawford said.

“Aligning with Australia’s Disability Strategy, Queensland’s plan highlights seven priority areas for action, including employment, inclusive homes, safety, community support, education, health and community attitudes.

“We expect more than 180,000 Queenslanders will be participating in the NDIS in the next ten years.

“The Palaszczuk Government investment of more than $2 billion a year in this scheme is the centrepiece of driving the inclusion of people with disability.

“That’s why this state plan, which builds on the previous plan, was co-designed with people with disability, putting their lived experiences and needs at the heart of the plan.”

Mr Crawford said the new disability plan encompasses the unique aspects of Queensland’s peoples, regions and diversity.

“The plan outlines priorities to increase employment opportunities for people with disability and strengthen financial independence, as well as increase access to high quality education from early childhood through to tertiary education and training.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to live in supportive, inclusive communities, and so the plan identifies increasing appropriately-designed accessible housing and public infrastructure as priorities, as well as shaping positive community attitudes toward people with disability.”

Queensland Disability Advisory Council member ans long-time advocate for First Nation people with disability, Community Elder Uncle Poul Calcott, said:

"As a Wiradjuri man with disability, I am pleased the Queensland Disability Plan is reflective of the diversity within the disability community in Queensland.

"Through the plan the Queensland Governement recognise that people with disability are strong, resilient individuals and the narrators of their own stories. I believe in a Queensland where we not only accommodate this diversity, we celebrate it.

" The plan will continue to identify and build on opportunities to create a strong and respectful culture on inclusion for all Queenslanders living with a disabilty, their fammilies ans carers."

Mr Crawfrod said Queensland Government departments will each be developing, publishing and delivering action plans that align with and implement Queensland's Disability Plan 2022-27.

"It's important to recognise that creating a disability-inclusive state is a job for all of us, not just government.

"I invite and encourage all levels of government, bussinesses, industries, organisations and communities to make the same commitment to work collectively and with people with disability to improve access and inclusion - so that everyone can fulfil their potential."


Policy Update 15st November – 5th December 2022

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.

Disability Action Week 2022

The theme for this year’s Disability Action Week (26th November – 2nd of December) is ‘Workforce Diversity: open up to opportunity.’ Disability Action Week is about recognition of the contributions that people with disability make to our families, communities and to Queensland’s economy. This year’s campaign emphasises the importance of diversity in our workplaces, how this benefits business as well as encouraging employers to think about their employment of people with disability. To assist employers with workforce diversity, support, resources and funding are being offered. You can access information about this support here as well as free promotional resources and general information about Disability Action Week.  

QLD Housing Summit Outcomes report released  

The Palaszczuk Government has released the Outcomes Report from the historic Housing Summit held in October. The Report sets out a program of actions backed by $56 million in new funding to deliver positive housing outcomes for the Queensland community. The Outcomes Report focuses on expanding housing supply and increasing housing support for Queensland. Key actions include: 

  • $11.7 million to expand tenancy sustainment responses to support vulnerable people to maintain their tenancies 
  • $10 million to expand private rental assistance products and services for people experiencing severe rental stress 
  • $10 million to deliver more temporary emergency accommodation with onsite support 
  • $8.5 million additional support for after-hours homelessness outreach services 
  • a further $5 million boost to the Immediate Housing Response 
  • $5 million for a Community Engagement and Awareness Campaign on growth and housing diversity 
  • $3.3 million for cost-of-living relief, including emergency relief and food relief 
  • $2.5 million to support the review of the South-East Queensland Regional Plan 

NDIS Review Paper – Open Submission  

The Government has announced that the Independent Review Panel for the NDIS Review have put forwards their first paper which details their approach to the review. The review process is based around co-design and is completely accessible to ensure that all people with disability can participate in having their say. There will be an engagement process over the next year that the Review Panel will facilitate, which includes consultation, collaboration with stakeholders in order to improve the scheme before recommendations and an action plan are created.  You can access more information about this here. An online survey has been created for the first NDIS Review discussion paper and to have your say you can access the survey here. The survey will close on December 31st, 2022.    

Australia’s New Disability Services Act 

The Disability Services Act (1986) has been in place for more than 30 years and the Department of Social Services is looking to update and replace it.  

 DSS is asking for the public to help through giving feedback around what gaps exist currently in the act and what needs to be changed. DSS are going to be looking at previous findings from other reviews such as the Disability Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability to gather feedback to inform changes to the Act. 

To have your say, you will need to read the consultation paper. There are 6 sections with questions to answer at the bottom of each section. You don’t have to answer all the questions and you can also just provide a response about how you feel overall online, in writing or via audio or video. You can access the consultation paper (including Easy Read and Auslan videos) here. You can access the questionnaire or submit an alternative response here. This open submission will close on February 12th, 2023.  


National Rent Affordability Index Release

The National Rent Affordability Index was released on 22nd November and illustrated a decline in rental affordability, with over 40% of households going through rental stress. The Index also found Hobart to be the most unaffordable city and that regional cities have been hit the hardest, even more so than capital cities, Greater Sydney has also seen a decline in rental affordability, Greater Perth has also been at its lowest since 2016 and Greater Brisbane has hit a historic low point for affordability. 

 There are a few calls to action that National Shelter are asking for in response to this national rent affordability crisis:  

  • Commonwealth leadership on rental reforms  
  • The development of a national framework for tenancy legislation that’s tenant-centred 
  • Limits to rent increases and increased security of tenure 
  • An increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance 
  • Sustained and enhanced investment in social and affordable housing 

Disability Sector Report 2022 

The NDS released its State of the Disability Sector Report 2022, at the annual CEO’s meeting in Sydney, which is an annual health check on the disability services sector. The latest report was conducted in partnership with the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney with 364 NDS providers from each state and territory participating. The report has revealed that the disability sector is under pressure, with these common issues reported: 

  • Having a difficult operating environment for most providers.  
  • Dealing with the COVID-19 emergency, which is still ongoing for many members.  
  • The sector being caught in a mire of pessimism, frustration, and distress.  
  • Providers expecting to make a loss this year.  
  • Difficulty finding and holding onto a skilled workforce.  
  • Difficulty finding staff in almost every skill category. 
  • Difficulty recruiting suitably trained Disability Support Workers.  
  • Only 39% of respondents felt confident that the Quality and Safeguards Framework supported quality services.  
  • Just under half of DES providers (48%) think DES policy reforms are not heading in the right level and an overall poor view of recent reforms in disability employment.  

More positive discoveries from the research revealed: 

  • 43% of respondents believed that policy was heading in the right direction up from 25% last year.  
  • Many participants wanted reform, despite having ‘change fatigue.’ 
  • There were feelings of hope amongst participants for positive change with the recent new government and announcement of the review.  

You can access more information about the report here, you can access the reports and factsheets with accessible options here  

Keeping people safe from domestic and family violence 

A report that explored how effectively public sector entities keep people safe from DFV, prevent it from occurring, and rehabilitate perpetrators to minimize re-offending was tabled in parliament on the 10th of November. How these entities coordinate with non-government DFV services was also explored in the paper.  

 The paper found that the system that responds to DFV in Queensland is under pressure. There has been an increase in DFV occurrences reported by the Queensland Police, with over 139 000 occurrences in 2021-2022, which is an increase of almost 48% in the last 6 years.  

 The report includes 21 recommendations that aim to improve holistic case management, enhanced interagency coordination, prevention, support for young people tackling intergenerational violence as well as addressing gaps in training, risk assessments and education to help prevent domestic and family violence. You can access the overview here and the full report here. 

Assessment and Referral Team  

The Assessment Referral Team (ART) is running capacity building sessions, specifically tailored for workers in the disability and NDIS sectors up until May 2023. In these sessions, ART will be sharing their key learnings from supporting Queenslanders with disability to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme and will cover the following areas: 

Overview of NDIS access requirements

  • Exploring Diagnosis and permanence of disability in the context of the NDIS access criteria for children, young people and adults who have one or more of the following diagnoses: 
  • Intellectual disability  
  • Autism spectrum disorder  
  • Psychosocial disability  
  • Physical impairment 
  • Acquired Brain Injury or traumatic brain injury  
  • Neurological impairment 
  • Hearing impairment 
  • Vision impairment 
  • Understanding comorbidities 
  • Supporting evidence  

Functional capacity  

  • Exploring the 6 functional domains  
  • Sample prompting questions and examples  

 ART also have some sessions that are tailored specifically for Queensland Government workers.  

 You can access the session dates and times here 

New Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy  

A Report of the Discovery Phase of the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Strategy has been released by the NDIA. There is a Summary Report that sets out the progress of co-design in the development of the NDIA CALD Strategy 2023-27. The five themes that were raised during the co-design are as follows:  

  1. “Infrastructure – our policies, procedures and systems should work well for people from different CALD backgrounds.  
  1. Staff capability – we should know how to deliver services that are safe and inclusive for all cultures. 
  1. Accessible communications – communications should be easy to understand for all cultures.  
  1. Markets – there should be more supports and services that meet the needs of CALD participants.  
  1. Data – we need better data to understand CALD participants and what supports they need.” 

There will be another phase building and testing solutions with CALD participants, families, carers and the sector, aiming to use co-design to integrate the perspectives of CALD participants.   

You can Find out more here. 

Royal Commission to examine guardianship, substituted decision making  

The Royal Commission undertook their 30th public hearing, examining Australian guardianship and administration laws and policies with a particular focus on how substituted decision-making impacts on the rights of people with disability.  

There was attention on Queensland guardianship and administration laws and policies, particularly around the impacts of substituted decision-making on people with disability. 

The hearing took place from November 21-25 in Sydney and has been live streamed. You can access the media release and transcripts here. You can also access the livestream here  

The Royal Commission heard from witnesses with lived and direct experience from WA, QLD, VIC and NSW as well as advocates, Public Guardians and Public Trustees. 

The reason for this hearing was to: 

  • Listen to stories and experiences of people with disability who have been subject to guardianship and financial administration orders.  
  • Look into barriers that exist for people with disability participating in guardianship and administration proceedings as well as the impact of these decisions on their lives.  
  • Explore the different assumptions/bias that may exist in relation to capacity, such as fluctuating capacity throughout the lifespan. 
  • Look at supported decision-making models for people with disability 
  • Examine why supported decision-making it not used as much as guardianship and financial administration, where guardianship and financial administration should be a last resort measure.  
  • Explore the safeguards required to decrease the risk of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation people with disability under guardianship and/or financial administration as well as supported decision-making. 

NDIS Decision-Making: Can we Achieve a Just and Rights-Based Review and Appeal Process

QDN recently attended a workshop surrounding NDIS decision-making and how we can achieve a just and rights-based review and appeal process on Monday 7th October hosted by Griffith University.

Key findings of Griffith University in relation to ensuring a transparent and accountable NDIS review and appeal process were that ‘reasonable and necessary’ is a sound principle, but its application is poorly explained and understood, that the NDIA learning process through feedback mechanisms is unclear, lack of clear processes and information can hinder rights to review and appeal and that the external appeal processes and behaviour can be adversarial.

The NDIS Minister Bill Shorten has recently announced the introduction of another dispute resolution process for NDIS appeals which is to be designed as well as implemented by a panel chaired by Graeme Innes AM. Its proposed creation is due to a backlog of cases reaching the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Griffith University's research suggest that in order for the dispute resolution to be effective and fair, this process should be co-designed by people with people with disability accessing the scheme, that there are non-adversarial processes that engage directly with the person with disability accessing the scheme at every step of the way throughout the resolution process, that there is adequate advocacy and legal support readily available for someone going through the dispute resolution process, there should be direct involvement from NDIA decision-makers,  that there is transparency around how and why decisions are made, that decisions are made in a timely fashion and that decisions are consistent with the legislative framework for reasonable and necessary support.

Healthcare Conversations & People with Lived Experience of Disability 

The Victorian Office of the Public Advocate is hosting an OPA online panel and Q&A session in recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities by people with lived experience of disability. The session will include presentations around healthcare and the ways in which health professionals can communicate effectively with people with disability and ways in which they are ensuring a person-centred approach in the delivery of their services to ensure people with disability are making decisions about their healthcare. 

The presentations will be followed by the panel sharing their experiences with healthcare professionals as well as opening up to the audience for questions.  

This event will be on Thursday 8th December from 2-3pm on Zoom. The session is free but you will need to book/register here. You can also email opaeducation@justice.vic.gov.au if you have accessibility requirements.