The Commonwealth and Western Australian governments have finalised a bilateral agreement for the delivery of a locally-run National Disability Insurance Scheme in WA, to commence from July.
Under the agreement signed yesterday, the WA government will be responsible for the administration and operating costs of the state-run scheme, while governance responsibility will be shared.
The Commonwealth will fund about 40 per cent of the average package costs for participants and WA will foot the bill for the remaining 60 per cent.
The Federal Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said the agreement satisfied the 11 fixed conditions the Commonwealth required for a locally-administered version to ensure national consistency of the scheme.
“WA’s agreement with the Commonwealth provides complete national consistency around key elements such as eligibility and access to supports provided through the NDIS,” he said.
State legislation will be introduced into the WA Parliament, mirroring key elements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.
The scheme will be delivered by a new WA NDIS authority and will be governed by a seven-member independent WA Board.
WA Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher said about 39,000 people would be part of the WA NDIS by the end of the three-year transition phase.
“People will enter the scheme between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2020 based on a geographic roll out which is consistent with other parts of the nation,” she said.
The state industry peak body National Disability Services WA welcomed the announcement and said a locally-administered NDIS would be well-placed to reflect the diverse and vast geographical regions across the state.
“It is good to see the agreement mirrors key elements of the national scheme and ensures the same level of funding and support as other people with disability participating in the NDIS across Australia,” said state manager Julie Waylen.
“The WA disability sector has campaigned long and hard for NDIS and we look forward to bringing our expertise and knowledge to help implement this significant reform for WA.’’ she said.
WA was the final state to negotiate a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth over the running of the scheme, which is operated centrally in other jurisdictions.