NDIS overhaul as rollout nears completion

Federal minister for NDIS Stuart Robert is set to announce an overhaul of the scheme.
Federal minister for NDIS Stuart Robert is set to announce an overhaul of the scheme.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is being overhauled in a bid to get people quicker access to suitable support.

The minister responsible for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, will announce six core aims underpinning the shake-up at the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday.

Mr Roberts concedes the scheme is not living up to expectations.

Various parliamentary inquiries into the NDIS have heard of massive delays getting on to the scheme, caseworkers unfamiliar with disabilities, and service providers being left to foot the bill for their clients.

The final rollout of the NDIS is due to be completed by mid-2020, with an estimated 500,000 participants to be added over the next five years.

The NDIS now has more than 310,000 participants, including 114,000 receiving disability support for the first time.

Wait times for NDIS plan approvals for adults have fallen from 130 to 80 days, with children's wait times dropping from 120 to 48 days.

Mr Robert estimates the disability sector needs at least 17,000 new carers.

His speech follows government budget data in September revealing a $4.6 billion underspend on the NDIS.

At the time, the government pinned this on a slower-than-expected uptake of the scheme.

Since then, it has appointed a new chief executive for the scheme's steering body - the National Disability Insurance Agency - as well as 800 new staff.

Australian Associated Press