Last night, Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers delivered the first budget for the new Government. The budget presented, albeit a positive start, demonstrated that there remains a lot of room for growth. Announcements included commitments to the NDIS, the Disability Employment Services Program, Aged Care, and better support for people with disability. Included in this was increased support for systemic advocacy funding. While we welcome many of these commitments, we know that there is a lot of work to do to ensure adequate supports and services for people who are blind or vision impaired and people with disability generally. We’ve highlighted some of the key figures from the budget below.
- $385.0 million of additional funding in 2023-24 to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) for operational funding to support National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, including the employment of 380 additional permanent staff at a cost of $158.2 million.
- $18.1 million over two years from 2022–23 to review NDIS design, operations, and sustainability
- $12.4 million in 2022–23 to introduce an expert review pathway to resolve disputes arising from NDIA decisions, reduce the number of appeals to the AAT, and provide better and earlier outcomes for NDIS participants
- $21.2 million over 3 years from 2022–23 for NDIS Appeals providers to support people with disability and their families with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) appeals process.
- $19.4 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to extend the Disability Employment Services program for two years.
- $32.2 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to improve disability access in the community by contributing one-third of the funding required to build up to 400 new ‘Changing Places’ toilets for people with high support needs
- $11.2 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to increase existing support for disability systemic advocacy
- $3.6 million over 3 years from 2022–23 to extend the National Disability Research Partnership to 30 June 2025.
- $540.3 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to improve the delivery of aged care services and respond to the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
- Included in this funding will be $53.5 million for 12 months from 1 January 2023 to extend the Disability Support for Older Australians Program to 31 December 2023