COAG Disability Reform Council Communiqué

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (the Council) met today via TelePresence.  The meeting was chaired by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services. Tasmanian and South Australian officials attended the meeting as those governments remain in caretaker.

Jurisdictions reaffirmed their strong commitment to implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across Australia.

Report from National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Board

The Council considered a report from the NDIA Board on the progress of the NDIS trial sites (National Disability Insurance Agency Quarterly Report to COAG Disability Reform Council: 31 December 2013) in the Hunter area in New South Wales, the Barwon area in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Important lessons are being learned from the trial sites for the roll out of the NDIS.

Report to COAG on the Implementation of the NDIS

The Council agreed to the Report to COAG on the Implementation of the NDIS and asked that COAG consider the key implementation issues, noting that cost drivers will require COAG’s continued focus.

National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Services Sector

The Council endorsed a National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Services Sector. The core strategies embodied in the National Framework will guide governments in development of national quality and safeguard system for the NDIS.

National Injury Insurance Scheme

The Council  reiterated the importance of the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS)  to disability reform across Australia  including by assisting with the financial sustainability of the NDIS over the longer term.

The Council noted that COAG has requested the Council on Federal Financial Relations prioritise the work on NIIS and report back to COAG by 1 December 2014 about minimum benchmarks for workplace accidents and medical treatment injury, and scoping work and options for general accidents.

National Disability Strategy

The Council noted that work has commenced on the National Disability Strategy 2014 Progress Report to COAG. The Report will be finalised in the second half of 2014 prior to it being presented to COAG.

The Council further noted that Disability Champions Ministers have been working with their Ministerial colleagues across the country to ensure the interests of people with disability remain high on their portfolio agenda and are taken up within their portfolio.

Next Meeting

The Council agreed that the next meeting of the Council will be held in the second half of 2014.