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Current News and Inquiries

 
This page contains recent updates on issues relevant to children and young people with disability. Further information and articles are available on CYDA’s social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.

Supported School Transport and transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (7 June 2018)
The Department of Social Services (DSS) have released a discussion paper regarding current arrangements for supported school transport in Australia (which is provided to some children and young people with disability so that they can travel to and from school). The paper discusses whether these current arrangements should continue, or if a potential model for supported school transport could be implemented under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. DSS is requesting feedback on the discussion paper. For further information, and to provide a submission, visit https://goo.gl/AhKyRT. The closing date for submissions is 20 July 2018.

Queensland government publish renewed Inclusive Education Policy (23 May 2018)
The Queensland government’s Department of Education have recently published their renewed Inclusive Education Policy. The policy aims to ensure that students of all backgrounds, identities, and abilities receive the support they need to access and fully participate in learning, alongside their peers. Further information is available from the Queensland government, at http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/inclusive/.

Administration of reviews under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 – Report released by Commonwealth Ombudsman (15 May 2018) 
The Commonwealth Ombudsman recently released a report that investigates the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) handling of reviews of decisions under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. The report discusses a range of issues regarding the NDIA’s review administration, including significant backlogs, delays in decision making, and poor communication practices. The report includes 20 recommendations, all of which have been accepted by the NDIA. The full report is available at https://goo.gl/HufG7V.

National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 and related bill (10 May 2018)
The Senate recently referred the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 and the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018 to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee are seeking feedback on the Bills, with submissions due by 1 June 2018. Further information is available at https://goo.gl/SzRXg9.

General issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS – Joint standing committee on the NDIS (2 May 2018)
This inquiry will aim to identify broad systemic issues relating to the implementation and performance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The committee is currently accepting submissions from NDIS participants, their carers and family members, as well as service providers and registered plan management providers. The committee wants to understand the experience of people with disability in becoming Scheme participants, how participants have received and used their package of supports, and how service providers are finding the transition to the new Scheme. For further information, and to provide a submission, visit https://goo.gl/ALWhpB.

UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Call for submissions: Draft General Comment No. 7 on articles 4(3) and 33(3) of the CRPD (2 May 2018)
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recently held the 19th treaty body session for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During this session, the Committee launched its process for adopting its General Comment No.7 on articles 4.3 and 33.3 of the Convention. These articles relate to the obligations of State parties to effectively consult with and fully involve people with disabilities, including children and women with disabilities, in decision-making processes through their representative organisations. The Committee released its first draft following the session, and is looking for feedback on this draft. To access the draft, and for further information on how to contribute, visit https://goo.gl/Cr6ZqG. Submissions must be received by 15 May 2018.

Disability Support Pension – Follow-on audit – Australian National Audit Office (2 May 2018)
The Australian National Audit Office will be carrying out an audit to examine whether the Departments of Social Services and Human Services use data and information from multiple sources to improve the Disability Support Pension (DSP) program. For further information, and to contribute to the audit, visit https://goo.gl/cFu1t3. Contributions can be made until 1 July 2018.

Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia – Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs (28 March 2018)
This inquiry will investigate the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia. Some of the specific focuses of the inquiry include: why rural and remote Australians access mental health services at a lower rate; the higher rate of suicide in rural and remote Australia; the challenges of delivering mental health services in the regions; and how technology may be used to improve service delivery. The closing date for submissions is 11 May 2018. For further information, and to make a submission, visit https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/MentalHealthServices

Access to mental health services – Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (28 March 2018)
This audit will investigate whether people with mental illness in Victoria have timely access to the appropriate public treatment and support services they need. The audit will consider the state of accessibility of the current mental health system, as well as proposed changes to improve the system. Further information is available at https://www.audit.vic.gov.au/report/access-mental-health-services.

Have your say on child rights in Australia – National Children’s Commissioner (27 March 2018)
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will soon report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on how Australia is meeting its child rights obligations. National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, is calling for submissions from all individuals and organisations who would like to contribute to the report. Submissions can be made via email, to kids@humanrights.gov.au or in writing to GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2000. The closing date for submissions is the 23 May 2018.

Further information is available from the AHRC, at https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/have-your-say-child-rights-australia

The Future of Education – ACT Government (8 March 2018)
The ACT Government has been requesting feedback from the public about what they want for the future of schools and education in the ACT. Since February 2017, they have heard from over 4,500 people from school communities, parents and carers, teachers, students, and community organisations. They are now focusing on using this feedback to develop a strategy for the Future of Education. Throughout the development of this strategy, they will be consulting with key stakeholders and representatives. If you would like to be involved, register your interest by contacting the Future of Education team via futureofeducation@act.gov.au. Further information is available from https://yoursay.act.gov.au/futureofeducation.

Implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme – Queensland Audit Office (8 March 2018)
The Queensland Audit Office is carrying out this audit to assess how effectively the Queensland Government is managing the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and how well prepared it is to oversee arrangements, services and outcomes for Queenslanders with a disability post transition to the NDIS. To contribute to this audit, visit https://www.qao.qld.gov.au/audits/implementing-national-disability-insurance-scheme-ndis

Vulnerability Speaker Series – Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia (8 March 2018)
The Commissioner for Children and Young People of Western Australia will be hosting a program of free events throughout 2018 that focus on how best to address challenges facing vulnerable children and young people in Western Australia. The first seminar will be held on 20 March 2018 and will feature two of the Commissioner’s Ambassadors for Children and Young People – Professor Stephen Zubrick and Professor Donna Cross. To register, and for further information, visit https://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/news/speaker-series-focuses-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/.

ISSUES FROM THE MEDIA