The federal government has been forced to abandon plans to implement independent assessment reforms for the NDIS following severe backlash from unions and community groups. After months of campaigning by disability advocates, disability ministers rejected controversial reforms that would have forced all NDIS participants undergo independent assessments by government contractors rather than their own medical specialists. The federal disability minister is now working with the states and territories on developing a new model. The AEU will maintain pressure on the government to increase funding and prevent any moves to undermine the NDIS.
The union is also highlighting the need for secure funding, qualified staff, and major improvements in pay and conditions in its submission to the national Care Workforce Labour Market Study.
There are a few changes in the latest NDIS pricing guide that affect members. Earlier this year, the minimum wage was increased by 2.5%, which will benefit disability workers on award rates. Employers were also required to increase super contributions from 9.5% to 10%. To fund this, base price limits for supports delivered by disability workers were increased by 2.95% on 1 July.