Chapter 1


The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (the committee) was established by resolution by the House of Representatives on 4 July 20191 and the Senate on 22 July 20192. The committee is composed of 5 Members and 5 Senators, and is tasked with reviewing:
the implementation, performance and governance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);
the administration and expenditure of the NDIS;
such other matters in relation to the NDIS as may be referred to it by either House of the Parliament.
The committee is required to present an annual report to the Parliament on the activities of the committee during the year, in addition to reporting on any other matters it considers relevant.
The committee is also able to inquire into specific aspects of the Scheme. On 1 August 2019, the committee decided to undertake an inquiry into NDIS planning, with particular reference to:
the experience, expertise and qualifications of planners;
the ability of planners to understand and address complex needs;
the ongoing training and professional development of planners;
the overall number of planners relative to the demand for plans;
participant involvement in planning processes and the efficacy of introducing draft plans;
the incidence, severity and impact of plan gaps;
the reassessment process, including the incidence and impact of funding changes;
the review process and means to streamline it;
the incidence of appeals to the AAT and possible measures to reduce the number;
the circumstances in which plans could be automatically rolled-over;
the circumstances in which longer plans could be introduced;
the adequacy of the planning process for rural and regional participants;
any other related matters.3

Conduct of the Inquiry

The committee published 156 submissions to the inquiry from individuals and organisations. Submissions are listed in Appendix 1.
The committee also conducted 6 public hearings:
8 October 2019 in Brisbane
9 October 2019 in Sydney
28 October 2019 in Hobart
7 November 2019 in Melbourne
19 November 2019 in Adelaide
21 November 2019 in Canberra
In addition to a formal program of witnesses, the committee also heard evidence during town-hall sessions. Transcripts from hearings, together with submissions and answers to questions on notice, are available on the committee's website.4 Witnesses who appeared at the hearings are listed in Appendix 2.

The need for an interim report

The evidence provided to the committee throughout this inquiry, coupled with recent government announcements and the Tune Review, indicate that more time is required to present a properly considered report on this very important aspect of the NDIS experience.
However, the committee has decided to present an interim report containing 14 recommendations directed to the government to improve the planning process. The committee will continue to consider the evidence provided thus far and hold further hearings in 2020 before presenting a final report to Parliament.

Structure of the Report

This report is comprised of 4 chapters, as follows:
Chapter 1 (this chapter) provides general information about the conduct of the inquiry.
Chapter 2 provides background to the NDIS and an overview of the planning process, highlights some of the key activities undertaken by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and other relevant organisations since the committee's last report, and outlines some issues relating to NDIS planning that were raised during the 45th Parliament.
Chapter 3 examines the areas of planning where the committee has made recommendations to improve the operation of the scheme.
Chapter 4 highlights other issues that the committee will continue to examine in the coming months.

Note on terminology and references

References to submissions in this report are to individual submissions received by the committee and published on the committee's website. References to Committee Hansard are to official transcripts, unless otherwise indicated.


The committee notes that many of the issues raised by witnesses and submitters have been matters of concern for some time, and in many instances, this is not the first time they have been brought to the committee's attention. The committee thanks all those who contributed to the inquiry by lodging submissions, providing additional information, or expressing their views through correspondence. The committee acknowledges those who gave their time to attend the public hearings and give evidence.

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