Kymberly Martin
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More protection from harm for NDIS participants

NDIS participants now have more protection from abuse, neglect or exploitation risk.

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Improving Supports for At Risk Participants) Bill 2021 implements key recommendations and followed an independent review into the adequacy of the regulation of the supports provided to Ann Marie Smith, who died last year.

While the review found no failings in how the NDIS Quality And Safeguards Commission carried out its regulatory functions, it made 10 key recommendations to the Commissioner. Action has been taken in relation to all recommendations, with six addressed through the legislation that has passed Parliament.

NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds said the legislation strengthened the protection for the safety and human rights of some of the community’s most at-risk. 

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“Ms Smith’s case was extremely distressing. This Bill promotes the rights of people with disability to be free from exploitation, violence, abuse and neglect,” she said.

The Bill provides for a more streamlined information sharing process between the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and recognises the need for a balance between the necessity of an efficient information sharing mechanism and the importance of privacy protection.

It includes greater clarity within the NDIS Act about the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner’s powers, compliance and enforcement provisions, and provider registration provisions and also enables more effective information sharing across governments.