Policy Submission: National Disability Agreement Review
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The National Disability Agreement (NDA) is a high-level agreement between Australian Governments to work in partnership to improve outcomes for people living with disability. While it has been in place since 2009, there is little evidence of the impact it has had over this time. Furthermore, the substantial changes in the disability policy area over this time, including the development of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have somewhat overtaken the NDA and brought into question the ongoing relevance of the current NDA. A complete review of the disability reform framework is required to ensure all levels of government work together and are held accountable to improving outcomes for people living with disability in Australia.
The review of the NDA should be done together with the review of the NDS and taking into account the NDIS bilateral agreements.
Consideration should be given to developing one main agreement among state, territory and federal governments that drives disability reform in Australia, under which more specific agreements, strategies and plans would sit.
All agreements, strategies and plans need to be consistent and linked and include clear purpose and scope statements.
Agreements between Australian governments need to include specific accountabilities, in terms of targets and performance indicators for all people living with disability.
Outcomes measures for families and carers of people living with disability should be removed from the scope of the NDA and included in a separate agreement to ensure appropriate attention and focus.
Disability agreements between Australian governments need to include specific commitments to strategic investment in advocacy and self-advocacy services.
Mainstream agreements and strategies need to include accountability around driving the disability reform agenda as well as performance measures to progress outcomes for people living with disability.
There should be one reporting line to COAG on the progress of disability outcomes in Australia. This reporting should include a breakdown of major reform areas such as the NDIS.
A comprehensive and transparent schedule of reporting on disability outcomes should be developed and monitored by a panel of stakeholders.
The outcome measurement framework for the NDA (and other disability reform documents) needs to include both transactional and transformational benefits for people living with disability.