QDN e-News Video November 2022 Week 2
New Board elected at AGM.
QDN held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 29 October 2022, attended by members in person and online. The election was held, and the following four people have been elected to QDN’s Board of Directors
- Des Ryan
- Gary Matthews
- Nerine Williams
- Dr Talitha Kingsmill
You can read more information about each of the elected directors here in the bios as meet the nominees that is up on the website https://qdn.org.au/meet-your-nominees/
At QDN’s AGM on Saturday 29 October 2022, Des Ryan on behalf of the Board of Directors announced the retirement of Paige Armstrong as QDN’s Chief Executive Officer as of the beginning of December, 2022. Paige has served and led QDN for the past 9 years and during this time she has grown the organisation and our membership, undertaking campaigns and delivering work and projects in line with QDN’s mission, vision and values.
Paige has served our members and Queenslanders with disability in her advocacy and leadership, working effectively with members, Government, community and disability services and our key allies and strategic partners.
In partnership with key allies and strategic partners, Paige has grown our footprint and our influence and contributed to our enhanced reputation.
QDN has been fortunate to have Paige’s leadership and we know that she will continue to stay connected to QDN, our peer leaders and members and our work in the next chapter of her life.
At the AGM it was also announced that QDN’s Board have appointed Michelle Moss as QDN’s next CEO. Michelle has worked with Paige over the past 8 plus years and brings a long history of championing the rights and inclusion of people with disability as ‘masters of their own lives’ in all her work. We look forward to working with her and welcome her as QDN’s new Chief Executive officer.
Please join me in thanking Paige for her leadership and do take the time to congratulate her on her accomplishments and upcoming retirement from full-time work. Paige will be connecting with members and colleagues throughout November before she departs the role.
QDN Board of Directors
Covid Updates Health Directives End
Queensland Health has developed a COVID-19 Community Traffic Light, which provides advice for the community on measures they should consider following when the community risk of COVID-19 is at green (baseline), amber (tier 1), or red (tier 2). The measures reflect Queensland’s adoption of the National Community Protection Framework, developed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
The initial level the COVID-19 Community Traffic Light will be green (baseline).
Queensland is currently at AMBER level.
Amber (Tier 1) means there are moderate rates of community transmission and Queensland is coming off a wave or may be entering a new wave.
When the traffic light is amber, we recommend you wear a mask:
- in healthcare settings
- indoors, if you can't socially distance
- on public transport
- if you are older or medically at risk
- if you’re around people who are vulnerable to COVID-19
- if required by a venue or household.
People who are older or have medical conditions can be more vulnerable to serious illness if they get COVID-19.
Places where it's more likely people may have COVID-19 include healthcare settings such as hospital emergency departments and general practitioner (GP) waiting rooms.
Take a rapid antigen test (RAT) if you get COVID-19 symptoms – or every two days, if someone in your household tests positive to COVID-19.
If you get COVID-19:
- register your RAT result
- stay home until you’re well again
- wear a mask for 7 days after you test positive
- avoid visiting hospitals, aged care, or disability care for 7 days after you test unless you are receiving care
- ask household members to closely monitor symptoms.
You should always stay home if you’re sick, maintain good hygiene and keep up to date with your vaccinations.
Advice on the up-to-date status of the level is available at: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/health-advice/traffic-light-advice
Policy Update 21st October – 4th November 2022
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.
Queensland Housing Summit
The Queensland Housing Summit was a significant coming together of all levels of government, industries, sectors, people with lived experience and peak bodies to discuss innovative and collaborative ways to address the housing crisis being experienced across Queensland. A report will be generated from the discussions at the summit and tabled in parliament in November.
2023 has been declared the year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland.
The 2023 Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland includes:
- $10 million Accessible Tourism Queensland Fund
- $1 million Awareness and Capability Program
- $1 million Visitor Experience Development initiative.
Awareness and Capability Program support will also be for activities that raise awareness of accessibility needs and disability services support for visitors, workers and the community. These initiatives will provide greater destination experiences for visitors of all abilities holidaying in Queensland and provide legacy outcomes, including built infrastructure and skills development for tourism operators, across the state in preparation for Brisbane 2032.
Disability Royal Commission
The Royal Commission has been focusing on hearing from people with disability from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities about:
- different cultural attitudes and understanding of disability
- intersectionality and identity for people with disability from CaLD backgrounds
- the language and other barriers experienced by CaLD people with disability when accessing and interacting with different systems and services in Australia
- the importance of language acquisition and the impact of language deprivation experienced by the d/Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing community.
NDIS update - Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS)
NDIS participants are currently also eligible for the Taxi Subsidy scheme so that they are not disadvantaged when they transition to the scheme. The States and the Commonwealth governments had negotiated this arrangement until 31 October 2022, however, as the long-term approach to transport supports under the NDIS is not yet decided, NDIS members are currently able to keep their Taxi Subsidy which has been extended until 31st October 2023.
Getting the NDIS Back on Track
A new report prepared by the Summer Foundation and supported by People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has been released called ‘Getting the NDIS Back on Track’. It is based on a national survey of 500 NDIS participants in July 2022. People were asked three questions about the NDIS: what works well, what they would change and how the NDIS has supported them to live an ordinary life. Based on people’s responses the report makes four key recommendations:
- Communicating and collaborating in alliance with participants
- An easier and more responsive system
- Not living in fear of funding being cut
- Supporting people with disability to live well.
Pilot program connecting NDIS participants with Disability Employment Services (DES)
A new trial was announced by the Minister for Social Services is aimed at lifting employment rates for people with disability who are NDIS recipients and have an employment goal in their plan.
The pilot will be trialled in five locations and is expected to begin in early 2023. It will connect those in the NDIS with an employment goal to a disability employment services provider.
National Plan to end Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032
On 17 October 2022, the Australian, state and territory governments released the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 (National Plan). The plan is the overarching national policy framework that will guide actions towards ending violence against women and children over the next 10 years. It highlights a collaborative approach across all sectors and communities to achieve a shared vision.
Women's Policy Forum
At the end of August, QDN hosted an online forum for women with disability to explore how we can bring the Queensland women’s Strategy 2022-27 to life. You can find out more information about the Queensland Women’s Strategy here. A summary of the forum can be found on the QDN website here which outlines some of the key issues that were discussed with some recommendations for action.
New rules for Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) from 1 November 2022
New rules in Queensland in relation to PMD have come into effect from the 1st November. These changes create some structure around when and how PMDs can be used in public spaces and improve the safety for both riders and the broader community. The changes include the introduction of speed limits on footpaths and shared paths, warning devices such as bells will be mandatory, and an increase in fines for speeding and mobile phone use, and the application of general road rules for PMD riders. For more detailed informatio on the rules, visit Street Smarts website on the link below.
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.
Australian Disability Strategy Forum
The first ever forum addressing the Australian Disability Strategy, ‘Australia’s Disability Strategy National Forum’ was held on the 2nd & 3rd of November. The forum included recorded speeches from politicians with disability portfolios as well as speakers and panels of disability advocates with lived experience of disability as well as people working within the disability sector. Both the politicians and other speakers/panellists present were from various states and territories around Australia.
The online forum covered areas such as employment and financial security, inclusive homes and communities, safety, rights & justice, health and wellbeing, education & learning, personal and community support and community attitudes all from a disability perspective and using a disability lens.
Some of the key updates and promises from the Federal and Queensland government are summarised below:
Amanda Rishworth Minister for Social Services discussed the following:
- The Federal government have committed to a visitor economy disability employment pilot which will address barriers that have previously been identified by small and medium tourism business in recruitment, retainment and progression of staff with disability,
- The Federal government have partnered with the Business Council of Australia to develop a disability employment initiative pilot aimed at increasing employment and improving career paths of people with disability.
- Government has committed $20 million to building employer confidence grants to better equip businesses with knowledge they need to support and hire people with disability.
- Information about the DES program consultations that many organisations, individuals and disability representative groups contributed to will be released August 2023.
- The Department of Social Services is working on a trial to better support NDIS participants to access the DES system, which will commence in early 2023 and will contribute to an understanding of what works in the context of employment goals for NDIS participants and the disability service employment system.
Craig Crawford (QLD), Minister for Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships discussed the following:
- In Queensland, the Palaszczuk government has been prioritising initiatives to increase workforce participation for people with disability and encouraging employers to employ people with disability.
- The Queensland Government’s ‘Back to Work’ programs supports workplaces in the regions and part of Southeast Queensland to employ people are experiencing challenges re-entering the workforce and this includes people with disability who have been unemployed for at least eight weeks.
- He made that point also that the public service staffing should reflect the state, and so the QLD Government are making it easier for people with disability to work in the sector and to develop skills and access opportunities to move into leadership roles within government agencies, such as senior officer and senior executive service and equivalent roles and above.
Amanda Rishworth Minister for Social Services discussed the following:
- Ed Husic, the Minsiter for Industry and Science along with state and territory building ministers recently finalised the national construction code for 2022 and this will include a new liveability standard to increase the stock of homes with accessible features and support Australians living with disability.
Amanda Rishworth Minister for Social Services discussed the following:
- The Federal Government has been working with States and Territories, non-government education authorities and disability stakeholders to implement recommendations from the 2020 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and further work is underway to provide additional resources for educators to help them support children and students with disability, including early childhood education.
Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme discussed the following:
- That the Australian Government need to restore trust not only in the NDIS scheme, but the government and they have a number of steps to take so that the NDIS can live up to its original vision.
- There is a new Chair of the National Insurance Disability Agency, Kurt Fearnley, who is the first person with disability to be chair of the NDIA.
- There are five members now on the board of the NDIA with disability including Kurt.
- The government are going to consider existing evidence about the NDIS’ problems and potential solutions when reviewing it and the review will be led by people with disability, with genuine co-design and genuine engagement.
- Whilst the government is reviewing the NDIS, any interim findings will be implemented as soon as possible.
- The government have seen a reduced number of cases making it to the Administrative Appeal Tribunal for the NDIS, nearly 1700 matters that were banked up have been resolved so far since the Election.
- A pilot is being developed for a better approach to have an alternative dispute resolution for the NDIS.
Safety, Rights and Justice
Minister Amanda Rishworth mentioned the following:
- Last month the Australian Government released National Plan to end violence against Women and Children which specifically references Disability Strategy as well as unique forms of violence that women with disability face.
- Under targeted action plans an immediate focus will be to develop a plan to reduce the risk of harm for people with disability through improved information sharing and referral processes, expanding on and considering outreach models and improving cross-system supports, including supported and substituted decision-making arrangements and independent, individual advocacy.
- To deliver the actions of the National Strategy, the government are asking the public to inform the development of a guide on the Strategy’s Guiding Principles and on how to involve people with disability in evaluation.
- These consultation processes close on 30th November and you can participate via the DSS Engage website, please visit this link to have your say: Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031: Consultation to inform the Strategy Guides | engage.dss.gov.au