NSW Disability Services Act review
The NSW Government is committed to improving the lives of people with disability, their family members and carers. As part of that process the Disability Services Act 1993 (the Act) is being reviewed with the aim of creating new laws that better reflect current thinking about the rights of people with disability and facilitate person-centred supports and services.
To inform the development of the new disability laws, a series of community consultations were held across NSW during February and March 2013. Due to demand, extra sessions were held and nearly 600 people attended.
A total of 25 consultations were held:
- there were sixteen general community consultation sessions held across metropolitan Sydney and regional locations in NSW for people with disability, families, carers, advocates and service providers
- there were six targeted to Aboriginal communities; disability service providers working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities; representatives and parents of children with disability; and existing advisory groups (the Ministerial Advisory Group on Person Centred Approaches and the Disability Advisory Council)
- a total of three sessions in Sydney and Broken Hill were targeted to people with an intellectual disability and were facilitated by the NSW Council on Intellectual Disability.
Submissions on issues and discussion papers
In January 2013 an Issues Paper: Reforming NSW disability support – the fundamental legislative issues and a more detailed Discussion Paper: Reforming NSW disability support - legislative structure and content, were released for public comment. A total of 64 written submissions on these papers were received.
ADHC greatly appreciates the time people took to attend consultation sessions and provide written submissions. A summary of this information is published in Feedback summary paper on the reform of NSW disability laws.
A further opportunity to have your say
An Exposure Draft of the new disability laws will be developed based in part on your feedback. This will be released for public consultation in 2013 and will provide a further opportunity for you to have your say before the new laws are finalised.
The current law in NSW
The Disability Services Act 1993 is the main legal foundation in NSW for providing supports and services to people with disability. When it was made, the Act set out a progressive, rights-based approach to supporting people with disability.
The need for change
In the almost 20 years since the Disability Services Act 1993 was made, there have been significant changes in attitudes towards people with disability and the ways that they are supported. Most important of these are:
- respecting the independence of people with disability;
- recognising the right of people with disability to be in control of their lives and to make or be involved in decisions that affect them; and
- ensuring people with disability can participate fully in Australian society.
Under the ten year plan for disability services, Stronger Together 2, the NSW Government is committed to a person centred disability system, one that meets the individual needs and goals of people with disability and supports them to realise their potential. To build a framework that reflects these ways of supporting people with disability and respects their rights, new disability laws will be developed to:
- facilitate the NSW Government's person centred disability support reforms;
- create an integrated disability legal framework, which draws together different laws that affect people with disability into one set of laws; and
- reflect current thinking about rights for people with disability.
Links to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) legislation was passed through Federal Parliament on 21 March 2013. This established the NDIS Launch Transition Agency (NLTA) to deliver the scheme. The NDIS commenced in the Hunter area in July 2013. Approximately 10,000 people with disability living in the three local government areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland will access the scheme gradually to enable a smooth transition from existing arrangements.
Work towards the NDIS sits alongside Stronger Together 2. The implementation of Stronger Together 2, and the associated review of disability laws, will ensure NSW models key elements of individual choice and control and reform which underpin the NDIS.
- Feedback summary paper on the reform of NSW disability laws (PDF)
- Feedback summary paper on the reform of NSW disability laws (RTF)
- Feedback summary paper on the reform of NSW disability laws - Easy English (PDF)
- Issues Paper: Reforming NSW disability support – the fundamental legislative issues (PDF)
- Issues Paper: Reforming NSW disability support - the fundamental legislative issues (RTF)
- Discussion Paper: Reforming NSW disability support - legislative structure and content (PDF)
- Discussion Paper: Reforming NSW disability support - legislative structure and content (RTF)
- New disability laws for NSW - Easy English fact sheet (PDF)
How can I get more information?
If you need further information about the reform process for development of new disability legislation you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 446 470.