Opinion

NDIS funding crucial for future success

By Shepparton News

Funding support is critical for ensuring communities locally and statewide can implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme successfully. 

Shepparton-based NDIS providers ConnectGV and the Australian Primary Mental Health Care Alliance received $130 000 funding grants last week during a visit from the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Minister Luke Donnellan.

APMHA Healthcare plans to use their funding to provide the local workforce and NDIS participants with a new group therapy room and training room as well as psychosocial disability training for local NDIS providers and increased service options. 

ConnectGV is set to work with other local providers to develop their Workforce Connect project to build a sustainable shared workforce model for the NDIS. 

These funds come from the state government's $1.3 million Victorian Regional Readiness Fund, which aims to generate local solutions to workforce issues, deliver services and better support the choices of people with disability on the NDIS.

The VRRF is part of a $26 million investment to boost support and prepare the disability workforce for transition to the NDIS across the state.

In rural and regional Victoria, the transition process towards the NDIS has not come without its challenges, specifically in the recruitment of qualified staff, such a therapists and other specialists, as well as managing services across large areas with small populations.

According to a 2017 University of Melbourne study, Choice, Control and the NDIS, those impacted by the NDIS found there was a need for clarity and simplification within the system as well as improved operation and efficiency, smoother transitions and better education for staff and participants to name a few concerns.

In the State of the Disability Sector Report 2018, almost 75 per cent said the NDIS was not working well, with 55 per cent of support services stating operating conditions had deteriorated since the scheme began. 

It seems as though the state government is making large efforts to work out the kinks of the scheme, but it does make one wonder, was the implementation rushed and will throwing money at the problem fix it? 

In an optimistic light, it is positive to see two local programs benefit financially and receive support for their NDIS endeavours in the near future.