Create communities inclusive of people with disability
VCOSS and the community sector strongly support the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the additional funding accompanying it. The 2015-16 Victorian State Budget’s continued investment in the NDIS trial site in Barwon is welcome.
Pending the full implementation of the NDIS in 2019, the significant investment in this state budget of up to 830 additional Individual Support Packages (ISPs) will assist some of the nearly 4,400 people on ISP waiting lists, who are unable to find supported accommodation or live independently in the community. VCOSS looks forward to working with the state government on further initiatives that support people with disability to participate fully in the Victorian economy and society.
Initiatives at a glance
- $151.1m over four years for more support for people with disability and their families –including up to 830 additional ISPs. As highlighted in VCOSS 2015-16 State Budget Submission, this funding will help reduce long waiting lists and support people in the community in the interim period before the NDIS is fully rolled out.
- $10m for school capital upgrades to make them more accessible and inclusive for students with disability – forming part of the government’s pre-election commitment to a Special Needs Plan. VCOSS looks forward to working with the government to build on this investment and help support young people with disability to participate in school and improve educational outcomes.
- $8.3m over two years, including $4.1m already allocated in 2014-15, to continue the NDIS trial – in the Barwon region.
- $16.5m over three years to continue and expand the Students with Disability Transport program – providing transport assistance for students who attend specialist schools.
- $6.8m in 2015-16 for Home and Community Care services indexation – to enable the continued provision of community care services for older people, young people with disability and their carers.
Future policy directions
- Carers provide invaluable support to vulnerable Victorians, but often at the expense of their own health and wellbeing. In future budgets, the state government can build on its significant investment in ISPs by further investing in support for carers of people with disability, including information, referrals, counselling, transition support and planning.
- There are a large number of Victorians with disability who will not qualify for personal support plans through the NDIS. They will still need access to appropriate specialist supports and accessible mainstream services. Carers of people who are ineligible for or do not access NDIS packages may also lose support in the transition to the NDIS. VCOSS looks forward to working with the state government and the community sector future years to ensure appropriate supports are available for people with disability and their carers who are ineligible for or do not access the NDIS.