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On 4 March, the Disability Reform Council (made up of Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders with responsibility for disability issues) met to discuss the progress of the NDIS.

In terms of governance issues, State Ministers have raised concerns over proposals that changes to the NDIS Rules would require consultation with the States and Territories, but not their consensus. Federal Minister Christian Porter has stated that he intends to consult with any jurisdiction affected by changes to Rules, but the States and Territories are calling for equal partnership. The Disability Reform Council will next meet in May to continue these discussions.

The NDIS Rules cover a broad range of issues including when a person becomes an NDIS participant, how to decide whether a support is ‘reasonable and necessary’ or value for money, and how an an NDIS participant can receive funding when outside of Australia. We are cautious of any attempts to water down collaborative input — especially if they relate to these important issues.

Creating consensus may slow progress, but it also facilitates partnerships and more effective decisions. Amid public whispers of a cost blow-out, Governments need to work together to get the NDIS right for people with disability.