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Social Development Committee: Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Report

1 November 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (19:46): I rise to speak on the report of the Social Development Committee on its inquiry into the impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on South Australians living with disability who have complex needs and are, or are at risk of, residing for long periods in inappropriate accommodation.

I mean no disrespect to the committee or members of the community who have a significant interest in this proposal when I indicate that my remarks will be very brief, simply in recognition of the lateness of the hour. It was a privilege to participate in the inquiry as a member of the Social Development Committee, along with the Hon. Ian Hunter, who is the Chair of the committee and obviously a member of this place.

The committee looked into a range of important matters. Its terms of reference included the ability to access and navigate the requirements of the NDIS; the timeliness of approval for appropriate specialist disability supports, including home and living decisions through the NDIS and the processes that may lead to delays; the adequacy of funding in the NDIS plans to fund the supports required; the ability of the NDIS workforce and market, including the specialist disability accommodation policy settings and the market in South Australia and the role that it plays in delivering necessary accommodation and funded supports; the impact on the wellbeing of participants of these inappropriate accommodation arrangements; any negative impacts on state government services; and any other related matters.

The committee has made a number of recommendations, and the Hon. Ian Hunter spoke to those in his remarks during the last parliamentary sitting. I take this opportunity to thank all members of the committee but also the secretariat for their work in pulling together the evidence, which was substantial, and crafting the recommendations, and all the people who took the time to appear before the committee and share their stories with us. Some of their stories were quite personal and at times it was an emotionally challenging committee to be on and to hear that evidence, but I know that all of us really appreciated hearing from people impacted by this area and hearing about their lived experiences.

It is my hope that the government will take action in relation to the recommendations. They are detailed. There is some really good work here that could be done by the government that I think would offer some real improvements for impacted South Australians. With that, I conclude my remarks.