Election as Chair, Joint Standing Committee on NDIS

Friday 16th October 2015:

I am delighted to announce my election as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

It is an important responsibility overseeing one of the most significant social program reforms for a generation – I will take it on with great care, passion and persistence.

The committee comprises Members and Senators from all sides of politics and is tasked with overseeing the implementation and administering of the NDIS. It has also been active in visiting trial sites and discussing operational matters with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the NDIS Independent Advisory Council, the Scheme Actuary, relevant State government officials and NDIS service providers, participants, families and carers.

The committee is focused on assessing the challenges, experiences and successes arising from the early stages of the Scheme’s implementation.

The aim is to ensure key learnings and insights from the Agency, all governments, stakeholders and the wider community are understood, embraced and addressed effectively as the Scheme is fully rolled out nation-wide to the benefit of the more than 460,000 Australians with disability.

Ensuring people living with disability have the support they need to live a full life and as comfortably as possible; with peace of mind and certainty for clients and their families, is also important to me.

Shortly after being elected to Parliament I was asked to convene a taskforce to identify unmet needs in the sector. This work resulted in tens of millions of dollars being injected by the Howard Government to address accommodation needs to provide better support for ageing carers.

I look forward to being able to lead and contribute to the committee’s ongoing important work, and engaging with the deep passion, experience and ambition of the sector, clients and their families and carers.

Our immediate focus will be to examine the early learnings from the implementation of the initial NDIS sites and oversee the work of the NDIA as the roll out extends into Victoria and New South Wales under recently finalised transition agreements.

I thank the outgoing Chair the Hon Mal. Brough MP for his careful stewardship of the committee and insightful progress reports.