The appointment of Gold Coast MP Stuart Robert as special minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has confirmed the government’s intention to give priority to the rollout of the scheme. He also joins the cabinet as Minister for Government Services, a new agency that will drive efficiencies in the public sector and make better use of technology and digital applications. The move takes the NDIS out of the social services portfolio. Senator Anne Ruston is the new Minister for Social Services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said top of the list for improving services will be ensuring the government delivers on the NDIS and meeting its goal of supporting 500,000 Australians by 2024/25. “The NDIS is a major social reform and there is much work to do to improve the delivery of these services on the ground,” he said.

National Disability Services (NDS) welcomed the announcement on the new appointments. NDS acting CEO, David Moody said “We look forward to working closely with both ministers, the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Commission to ensure that disability service providers are able to provide quality services and supports for people with disability, to support them to lead an ordinary life.”

He said the decision to appoint a minister who will focus on the NDIS, is positive news for everyone who is participating in and relying on the scheme, working to deliver quality supports for people with disability. “Minister Robert and Minister Ruston have work ahead to fix a range of issues with the NDIS.”

Moody also called for bipartisan support to ensure the NDIS continues to remain fully funded and is not eroded by other budgetary pressures.

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