Your say on future policy

Disability policy landscape has changed a lot: It's vital people with disability have a leading role in modernising the policies and programs which affect them.
Disability policy landscape has changed a lot: It's vital people with disability have a leading role in modernising the policies and programs which affect them.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert, who will head the new Government Services Department.

Mr Robert would also be government services minister and oversee a newly created federal agency to drive public sector efficiencies.

"Top of the list for improving services will be ensuring we deliver on NDIS, working to our goal of the NDIS supporting 500,000 Australians by 2024/25," Mr Morrison said as he unveiled the new ministry, a week after the Coalition's unexpected return to government.

"The NDIS is a major social reform and there is much work to do to improve the delivery of these services on the ground."

Describing the NDIS as "an issue very dear to my heart", Mr Morrison said the scheme represented a major social reform designed to meet the needs of all Australians who live with disability and their families.

"It's got to be made easier," he said. "It's a very targeted program. Every single Australian with a disability needs a bespoke approach, their challenges are different and they must be recognised as different."

The Australian community can also take part in national consultations to shape the future of Australia's disability policy for 2020 and beyond.

The Strategy is a 10-year framework that seeks to drive a more inclusive approach to how all governments design policies and programs so that people with disability can participate in all areas of Australian life.

"The launch of the first National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 paved the way for major changes to the disability landscape in Australia," the then minister for Social Services (now minister for Communications) Stuart Fletcher said.

"With one-in-five Australians living with disability, it is critical for all Australians, and particularly those with a lived experience of disability have their say about the future policies of our nation. At the end of 2020, the current Strategy will come to an end."

Minister Fletcher said it was imperative that the feedback from the Australian community was factored into future policy-making.

"We want to provide an opportunity for the more than four million people with disability, as well as those who love and support them, to shape the new strategy and tell us what is important to people with disability," he said.

The consultation will also consider the findings and recommendations of the Productivity Commission's Report of its Review of the National Disability Agreement as these are relevant to the design of a new strategy.

Consultation started with hearing from national peak organisations representing people with disability.

The Australian Government has also announced $10.5 million in grants for initiatives to help build inclusive communities, so people with disability can take control of their lives and have equal access and opportunity.

Grants will be awarded to organisations for new technologies, finding new ways to collaborate or making significant improvements to existing ways of working.

"We welcome innovative applications in all areas such as housing, transport and assistive technology as well as initiatives that recognise the diversity of people with disability," he said.

The grants will provide funding to successful applicants until June 30, 2021.

To get involved in shaping the National Disability Strategy beyond 2020, to register for a workshop near you or to complete the online survey, visit engage.dss.gov.au

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