The NDS is a ten year national policy framework for improving the life of people with disability in Australia, their friends, families and carers.
The Committee noted that while overall support for the NDS remains high, implementation of the strategy has been poor, with “progress reports [presenting] a more optimistic view of progress than the evidence on the ground suggests”.
The Committee also reiterated concerns raised by DPO Australia in our submission to the inquiry, including ongoing discrimination against people with disability, lack of accountability and evaluation mechanisms, lack of centralised agency with responsibility for coordination of implementation of the NDS, and a lack of meaningful and respectful consultation with people with disability.
Seven recommendations were made by the Committee, including:
- that all Australian Governments recommit to the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and meeting associated domestic and international reporting obligations.
- that the government takes to the Disability Reform Council for consideration a proposal to establish an Office of Disability Strategy under the oversight of the Disability Reform Council, as a coordination agency for the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and for the revised National Disability Strategy after 2020.
- that if an Office of Disability Strategy is established, that people with disability are consulted at every stage of its development and implementation.
- that specific measurable goals for implementation of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 are created, that these are routinely monitored, and data is collected and reported biannually to the Disability Reform Council, the Office of Disability Strategy (if created) and presented to parliament.
- the development of best practice guidelines for detailed consultation with people with disability and their advocates under the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
- that a revised National Disability Strategy, with an extended timeframe of operation, be devised in consultation with people with disability, including consideration of the critical role of advocacy in this process.
- the revised National Disability Strategy should include development of solutions to the barriers identified to this committee.