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Submission: The NDIS Participant Experience in Rural, Regional, and Remote Australia

26 February 2024

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) called for submissions on their Inquiry into the NDIS Experience in Rural, Regional, and Remote Australia. The National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum (NMHCCF) submitted a response to the call for submissions by the 23rd of February 2024.

Reason for submission

As part of the Joint Standing Committee’s role to inquire into and report on the implementation, performance, governance, administration, and expenditure of the NDIS, it will inquire into and report on the NDIS participant experience in rural, regional, and remote Australia, with particular reference to:

a. the experience of applicants and participants at all stages of the NDIS, including application, plan design and implementation, and plan reviews;
b. the availability, responsiveness, consistency, and effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Agency in serving rural, regional, and remote participants;
c. participants’ choice and control over NDIS services and supports including the availability, accessibility, cost and durability of those services;
d. the particular experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants, participants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and participants from low socio-economic backgrounds, with the NDIS; and
e. any other related matters.

The NMHCCF chose to respond to this submission opportunity as Australia’s national voice representing Lived and Living Experience of mental ill-health, and the Disability Representative Organisation (DRO) and Disability Representative and Carer Organisation (DRCO) for psychosocial disability in Australia. The NMHCCF believes that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could better serve rural, regional, and remote populations of Australia by drawing on local knowledge, increasing provider incentives to operate in distant geographical areas, building local workforces, restructuring travel costs, improving telehealth access, and engaging in close co-design with Lived Experience.

The NMHCCF offers its standing as the national voice for Mental Health Lived Experience and its lived experience expertise to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS to assist where it can in terms of providing evidence and consultation to inform its final report recommendations. It also welcomes the opportunity to work with the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS in improving the Scheme to ensure that equity to services and support is achieved regardless of where one is geographically located.

Read the full submission and recommendations

Submission: The NDIS Particpant Experience in Rural, Regional, and Remote Australia