NDIS on track to deliver for people with disability
More than 180 people attended the NDIS forum where experts from three universities and other relevant organisations presented independent analysis and opinion on the costs and funding of the new NDIS, and the implications for service providers and people with disability.
Carers, representatives of disability groups, policy advisors and advocates were among those who were keen to hear the insights of academics and other high profile guest speakers at the event which sought to consider cost and funding issues associated with the NDIS. The event was held on Wednesday 4 June at the University of Sydney's Veterinary Science Conference Centre.
Among the guests were the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, and John Walsh AM, Board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency. The event was also attended by representatives of many organisations, ranging from small community groups to senior representatives from the health, government and insurance sectors, along with committed carers, parents and people with disability.
Investing in People with Disability: Financing and costs of the NDIS brought together academics from Macquarie University, The University of Sydney and Australian National University. In a collaborative approach on this important topic, speakers from the disability sector and government also took part in the examination of the scheme so far and its funding and implementation.
Associate Professor Leonie Tickle from Macquarie University said although the NDIS is in its infancy, important early experience from the trial sites is being monitored and used to inform the wider roll out.
"What we can see in the quarterly scheme reports at this very early stage is that the number of participants, particularly low-cost participants, is lower than expected, and that current year costs for those joining the scheme in the first three quarters are within the funding allocation," she said.
Professor Richard Madden from the University of Sydney said the 0.5% income levy starting on 1 July meant NDIS finances are assured for the next four years. "The Budget test comes after that period, when the NDIS is fully rolled out. So we need to examine the emerging experience, learn and adjust, but also keep the long term financing needs front of mind in coming years."
Cain Becket, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and chair of the Disability Council of NSW suggested that the scheme had been essential to contain costs in years to come, and that 'doing nothing' would ultimately be a far more expensive proposition for governments.
However, all participants emphasised the need for monitoring and evaluation of the scheme to ensure that it remains on track to deliver promised benefits.
More information, program guide, and presentations can be viewed on the NDIS Forum webpage.
The forum was jointly organised by:
- A/Prof Leonie Tickle from Macquarie University's Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies,
- Prof Richard Madden from the University of Sydney's Centre for Disability Research and Policy and
- Prof Jim Butler from Australian National University's Centre for Economic Research on Health.
Other speakers included:
- Peter Martin, Australian Government Actuary and NDIS Reviewing Actuary,
- Gordon Duff, Executive Officer, National Policy Research Unit at National Disability Services, and
- Cain Beckett, partner at PwC and Chair of the Disability Council of NSW.
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