QAI made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee regarding the proposed reforms contained in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Participant Service Guarantee and Other Measures) Bill 2021.

Overall, QAI considers that many of the changes are positive. However, there is uncertainty regarding the extent of change that will occur as a result of the proposed legislative reforms. This is because the Bill provides increased scope for the National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency) to create Rules that will govern how the legislation is to be applied in practice; Rules that have not been provided alongside this Bill. Increased discretionary power for the Agency is cause for concern.

Whilst it facilitates greater flexibility on the one hand, it begins to erode the choice and control of participants on the other. This must remain at the heart of the scheme if the NDIS is to stay true to its original purpose; that is, to support the independence of people with disability and ensure their full inclusion within society.