National Disability Insurance Scheme

Published on 14 June 2017

At the Council Meeting on Tuesday 13 June, Glen Eira City Council considered what continuing role to play in the provision of disability services post the introduction of the commonwealth National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and resolved to strengthen its community leadership in advocacy, coordination and inclusion for those most vulnerable in the Glen Eira community.

The NDIS, which rolls out across the City of Glen Eira from 1 April 2018, is a new way of providing support for people under 65 with a permanent and significant disability. The Scheme provides funds directly to people experiencing disability to purchase the services they need for support. It is a significant change to the disability services landscape.

Under the new provisions, it is not going to be feasible for Council to register directly as a provider under the NDIS. The NDIS replaces a variety of Victorian and Australian Government funding agreements and programs and will result in a funding loss to Council of approximately $770,000. The current service is funded through a mix of Government grants; ratepayer subsidisation; and client fees — under the NDIS, charging client fees is not permitted.

Glen Eira Mayor Cr Mary Delahunty said the funding changes presented an opportunity for Council to re-assess its role in disability services. Council has taken independent professional advice and having considered a range of options, we have determined to make changes to our current service and focus our investment on those who fall outside of the NDIS provisions, as well as advocacy and coordination with other direct service providers.

"The NDIS fundamentally changes disability services — business as usual is not an option for Council anymore. However, we have a proud history of leadership in the promotion of inclusion and accessibility and we believe we can strengthen this role." Cr Delahunty said.

"The changes in the new system are significant and we needed to consider not only the impact on existing clients and staff, but our capacity to deliver a more specialist disability support service," Cr Delahunty said.

"Council is not a specialist disability provider — we only provide respite care — and people with disabilities living in Glen Eira will now have a wide choice of providers that can effectively meet all their current and emerging needs."

Cr Delahunty said during the transition period, Council will continue to provide services until a new provider is in place.

"We will have a dedicated transition officer to assist clients in the transition process," Cr Delahunty said.

Council will continue to deliver services to people with disabilities who do not qualify to participate in NDIS. It has also made a commitment to a continued role in planning, advocacy and leadership in disability support across the municipality.

Cr Delahunty said throughout July we will be consulting with the community about what an enhanced role and investment in the provision of planning, advocacy and leadership in disability support across the municipality might look like.