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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.

Electoral Matters Committee to examine lowering the voting age
The Senate has referred the Commonwealth Electorate Amendment (Lowering Voting Age and Increasing Voter Participation) Bill 2018 to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. The Bill proposes the introduction of voluntary voting for 16 to 17 year olds. To make a submission, visit https://www.aph.gov.au/VotingAge. The closing date for submissions is 10 August 2018.

Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime (ACT)
The ACT Government has committed to establishing a Charter of Rights for victims of crime. They are seeking feedback from the community about the way that victims of crime are supported in the justice system. Specifically, they are seeking feedback on three key issues: how information should be provided to victims of crime; what other opportunities exist for victims of crime to participate in the justice process; and appropriate complaint management, remedy and oversight mechanisms. For further information, and to provide a submission, visit https://goo.gl/Z1wmXb. The closing date for submissions is 6 August 2018.

Implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the provision of disability services in New South Wales
The Parliament of New South Wales is carrying out an inquirty into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and provision of disability services across New South Wales. The inquiry will focus on a range of Terms of Reference, including: the success or otherwise of the NDIS in providing choice and control for people with disability; the accessibility of early intervention supports for children; and the adequacy of current regulations and oversight mechanisms in relation to disability service providers. For the full Terms of Reference, and to provide a submission, visit https://goo.gl/nxs6Me. The closing date for submissions is 9 August 2016.

Social Services Pricing Framework (Victoria)
The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet is developing a Social Services Pricing Framework. This aims to ensure the transparency and consistency in the way the Victorian Government purchases support services. The Department is seeking feedback on their consultation paper, which outlines a proposed pricing framework, by 5.00pm on 10 August 2018. For further information, and to provide a submission, visit https://goo.gl/ThrxVy.

Free Key for Changing Places (WA)
The Government of Western Australia have announced that a free key to open Changing Places is now available for WA Companion Card Holders. People who need Changing Places can accept this offer by contacting National Disability Services on 9242 5544, or by emailing wa@companioncard.asn.au. The offer is available until 31 July 2018, after which keys can be purchased from Master Locksmiths.

Disability action plan 2018-2020 (Victoria)
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have released their draft disability action plan 2018-2020. The plan includes initiatives that aim to improve the inclusiveness and accessibility of DHHS services. The Department is seeking feedback on the draft plan by 5.00pm Wednesday 18 July. The DHHS has made an Easy English version of the plan available, and a feedback survey in a range of formats. Further information is available at https://goo.gl/gMUtZw.

Should we extend the age of leaving state care beyond 18? (South Australia)
The South Australian Guardian for Children and Young People recently carried out a poll that asks whether the age of leaving care in South Australia should be extended beyond the current 18 years. This is due to suggestions that young people leaving state care at the age of 18 are not fully equipped to take on all the demands of adult life. The majority of respondents favoured the extension of support to young people beyond the age of 18. Further information is available at https://goo.gl/ZYPBhj.

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.

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.

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.

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