Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP)
This Bill makes minor amendments to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to clarify the policy intention in relevant provisions, and to address minor anomalies and technical errors.
The Bill makes amendments to clarify the range of matters relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme that can be prescribed by rules made under the Act, to ensure they are based soundly in the principal legislation for the scheme.
In the case of the early intervention supports, where there is no intention to make rules and where key eligibility criteria are set out clearly in the legislation, the current rule-making power is being removed to avoid any risk that those provisions would not be available to people who may benefit from them.
Further amendments strengthen the governance and financial framework of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency (DisabilityCare Australia) to support the Agency's accountable management of the significant public monies involved and to further strengthen the financial sustainability of the scheme.
The Bill clarifies the intended operation of provisions relating to compensation claims. It ensures that protections similar to those applying under the NDIS Act when a participant is required to claim or obtain compensation also explicitly apply when the CEO takes over the claim on behalf of the participant.
The Bill also makes consequential amendments to other Commonwealth Acts to complement the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 . For example, amendments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 will strengthen the external merits review process for participants in the scheme by establishing a National Disability Insurance Scheme Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and requiring members assigned to the division to have relevant knowledge and experience.
Amendments to the social security law will include changes to ensure that amounts paid under the National Disability Insurance Scheme for supports funded under a participant's plan are not taken into account under the social security or veterans' entitlements income and assets tests. Similarly, amendments to the taxation legislation will include changes to ensure that payments and benefits provided under the National Disability Insurance Scheme to participants in the scheme are exempt from income tax.
Financial impact statement
This Bill is part of the legislation package underpinning the first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will have a cost to the Commonwealth of $1 billion over four years from 2012-13. Additional information on the costs of transition to a full scheme can be found in 2013-14 Budget Paper 2 and related documentation.
STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS
The statement of compatibility with human rights appears at the end of this explanatory memorandum.
NOTES ON CLAUSES
Abbreviations used in this explanatory memorandum
- NDIS means the National Disability Insurance Scheme established by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
- NDIS Act means the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013
- NDIS Rules means the rules made under the NDIS Act
- The Agency (DisabilityCare Australia) means the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency established by section 117 of the NDIS Act
Clause 1 sets out how the new Act is to be cited - that is, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme Legislation Amendment Act 2013 .
Clause 2 provides a table that sets out the commencement dates of the various sections in, and Schedules to, the new Act.
Clause 3 provides that each Act that is specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in that Schedule.