The request by the Commonwealth Government to State and Territory governments to cede the NDIS Agency’s Board nomination rights to the Commonwealth is not the ‘right way to go’ to ensure that the Australian community has a commitment to the NDIS and the substantial funds that it requires.
The States/Territories have a considerable financial stake in the NDIS and also provide a range of other services to people with disability, e.g., accommodations and health, and their commitment can only be assured if they have equal responsibility for the governance of the Scheme.
The current governance arrangements have successfully launched the NDIS, and as the Scheme goes through expansion and consolidation the skills, experience and capacity of Board members should be reviewed. This process will only be successfully accomplished through cooperation and negotiation involving all stakeholders, based on what is best to enable people with disability to have a good life and the appropriate governance of the NDIS and not with one party asserting its position.
The success of the NDIS is built on the cooperative efforts of people with disability, their families, the community and the leadership shown by all governments. The creative tension created by the involvement of the different parties has enabled the Scheme to roll out within an evidence based framework without the ideological / policy stance of any particular party or group prevailing. This governance arrangement has ensured the ongoing commitment of the Australian community to the increase in the medicare levy and the additional government resources that are needed for the full implementation of the Scheme.
Any attempt by one party to dominate the ongoing policy development and implementation of the Scheme places the NDIS is grave jeopardy of losing the community’s goodwill and hence its ongoing financial sustainability and viability.
Inclusion Australia calls on all governments to continue to work cooperatively to ensure the viability of the NDIS, the commitment of the broader Australian Community and the successful interrelationship of NDIS services with State/Territory services for people with disability.