The Federal Government has successfully passed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill through Parliament, paving the way for the creation of a new national agency aimed at supporting people with a disability, their families and carers.

The Bill establishes the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the NDIS Launch Transition Agency that will be delivering the launch of the scheme.

The Agency now has an established presence in the launch sites.  When the scheme launches in July this year, there will be more than 250 suitably trained people working in seven regional offices in the launch locations.

The Bill, and the amendments agreed during the Bill’s progress through the Parliament, was heavily shaped by the feedback the Government received from people with disability, their families, carers and service providers, through consultations across the country.

Agreed amendments included:

  • Elevating the importance of certain obligations that Australia has as a party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and explicitly recognising the broader context for disability reform. This ensures that the rights of people with disability, their families and carers are at the heart of the NDIS.
  • Clarification that people who need early intervention therapies and supports, including for degenerative conditions, and who are not better supported by another systems such as the health care system, can access the NDIS.
  • Clarification that all people who are NDIS participants will be able to choose to remain in the scheme after they turn 65.
  • Changes to the compensation provisions so that the NDIS Launch Transition Agency (the Agency) can conduct legal proceedings on behalf of a person with disability who does not choose to conduct those proceedings.
  • Ensuring the NDIS Board receives and considers actuarial advice, helping to safeguard the financial sustainability of the NDIS.
  • Recognising the important role of advocacy in the lives of people with disability.
  • Bolstering the requirements for representation of people with disability on the NDIS Advisory Council.