This month has seen a few wins when it comes to our NDIS advocacy – but we’re not quite there yet.
Last week’s Federal Budget saw our Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt acknowledged there is a gap for people who won’t qualify for the NDIS by announcing an $80m injection in to psychosocial support services. This is a positive beginning in relation to the fact that $350m in Federal funding for mental health has been transferred in to the NDIS.
Of the $350m of Commonwealth program funding being transferred in to the NDIS it will only cover 20-25% of people currently in programs who are eligible for support. While the $80m announced last week will not cover the 75% shortfall it is a good start.
Mental Health Australia released this summary of the Budget last week.
One of our concerns with the NDIS has also been around how it will be funded. We were pleased to see that this too was covered in last week’s budget with a 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy.
On another front we’ve met with Australian Services Union to talk about our concerns with the mental health workforce and the impact of the NDIS. MHCSA continues to advocate for appropriate pricing of community supports for mental health under the NDIS so that we can retain and support our skilled and qualified workforce.
We will also be attending NDIS job seeker information sessions in the coming weeks to see what prospective disability support workers are being told about qualifications and pay.
While we keep working hard at making sure the NDIS roll out is fair and equitable for all we still want to hear from you. If you have had an experience with trying to gain NDIS support or have any concerns please email our Communications Officer Louise Pascale on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geoff Harris, Executive Director