Transition to the full National Disability Insurance Scheme
is expected to be completed by 2020. The Scheme is phasing in rapidly around
Australia and is now fully operational in all regions of NSW, SA and ACT. By
2020, it is estimated that 460 000 participants will have entered the Scheme.
The challenges for both participants and service providers to
transition to a market-led service delivery model cannot be underestimated. Creating
a participant enabling environment and developing a competitive marketplace is
vital to the success of the Scheme. However, during the course of this inquiry,
the committee heard that the NDIA, as the lead market steward, has often failed
to put in place in a timely manner the appropriate measures and initiatives to
support the development and growth of the disability support marketplace to
The roles, responsibilities and activities of all those
responsible for market stewardship are unclear. This is impeding the
development of strategies to address key emerging issues in the development of
Throughout the inquiry the committee heard that most
participants are not ready to confidently engage and navigate the market. Of concern
is that submitters continue to raise issues around adequacy of plans and
ability of participants to activate and manage plans. It appears that the
resources and supports put in place by the NDIA to help participants activating
and implementing their plans are not reaching all participants and their
There is currently no clear national strategy to grow the
workforce despite the need for an additional 70 000 disability workers by 2020.
The committee received evidence that there are currently virtually no
incentives to choose a career in the disability support sector. Indeed,
submitters reported that the disability sector is experiencing a rise in
underemployment and insecure work arrangements, inadequate wages with little or
no prospect of professional development opportunities.
Service provider readiness
The committee consistently heard that service providers are
struggling to make the necessary changes to operate under the NDIS. Many service
providers critically lack the capacity, expertise, cash reserves and
infrastructure to make a successful transition and operate in the new NDIS
environment. To date, it appears that the growth in new providers is far too
slow and patchy to mitigate current and projected supply gaps. The committee heard
that the NDIA as a market steward has lacked forward planning and not
adequately facilitated access to support and assistance for existing and
prospective service providers to operate in the NDIS environment.
The committee was troubled to hear that many service
providers were unable to operate even moderately profitably under NDIS pricing.
The committee continued to hear that NDIS pricing is hindering market
development and growth. More concerning is that, in some instances, pricing has
led to service providers discontinuing services to NDIS participants. The
committee heard that some service providers are 'cherry picking' clients and
potentially leaving some of the most vulnerable NDIS participants with no access
to adequate services.
Thin markets and Provider of Last
The committee is concerned with the lack of progress on
addressing the issue of thin markets experienced by some groups. The thin
markets identified are not new; it is now urgent that the NDIA intervene beyond
making small adjustments to pricing. The committee is concerned that the policy
on future Provider of Last Resort arrangements has not been released and
Specialist Disability Accommodation
The committee received evidence that the lack of data on SDA
demand, restricted choices of living arrangements for participants, the lack of
clear and consistent information available to investors and the pricing review
cycle are impeding development of new SDA dwellings.
The committee received a wealth of information and evidence
throughout the inquiry and thanks all those who participated. As a result, the
committee has made 29 recommendations, which aim to ensure that appropriate
strategies and responses are swiftly implemented to stimulate the growth of the
marketplace and ensure that all NDIS participants have access in a timely
manner to the necessary and reasonable supports they are entitled to.
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