NDIS legislation update: Australian parliment house

NDIS Bill passes the House of Representatives

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024, initially tabled in parliament in late March, has recently seen significant progress. After a series of new parliamentary amendments, the Bill passed the House of Representatives on 5 June 2024.

These amendments represent a response to various concerns and criticisms, aiming to clarify and enhance the functioning of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Key highlights of the proposed changes:

Emphasis on Co-Design:

The Minister will now be required to consider the principle of co-design when making legislative instruments, ensuring greater input from the disability community in decision-making processes.

Limiting CEO Powers:

The powers of the NDIA CEO to require assessments for NDIS status will be limited, allowing such assessments only when necessary information is unavailable.

Improved Participant Rights:

Participants will now explicitly receive copies of their needs assessments, promoting transparency and accountability.

Clarification on Needs Assessment:

Clarity is provided regarding the circumstances under which a replacement needs assessment can be arranged, with further operational details to be developed.

Transitional Measures:

New legislative instruments will be developed to define NDIS support during the transitional period, addressing concerns about the previous approach’s appropriateness.

Budget “Top-Up” Criteria:

The circumstances in which the NDIA CEO can supplement funding in a participant’s budget are prescribed, including instances of fraud, emergencies, and lack of decision-making support.

What happens next?

While the Bill’s journey to becoming law is ongoing, with the Community Affairs Legislation Committee yet to finalise their report and the Senate’s approval still pending, these proposed amendments represent significant progress. They address several key concerns raised by the disability community and sector.

For more detailed information on the amendments and accompanying explanatory memos, visit the Parliament of Australia website.