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Commissioner viewpoint: March eNews

15 Mar 2018

NDIS relief

There’s some relief on the horizon for service providers under the NDIS Independent Pricing Review, released last week.

Three areas of particular importance relate to administrative overheads for providers transitioning, the additional cost of service delivery for complex needs, and travel allowances for providers and scheme participants in regional and remote areas.

These changes will be welcome in regional and remote areas of Queensland, in particular.

There is a delicate, and difficult, tension between ensuring the system is affordable and sustainable for participants and for providers, and no doubt there will still be some issues to iron out as the scheme is implemented.

The NDIA acknowledges the challenges faced by service providers grappling with the complexity and speed of change, particularly the cash flow impacts of shifting from up-front block funding to payment post-service delivery.

The NDIA has indicated it will continue to improve its sector engagement and transparency going forward, particularly as it continues to work on the Participant and Provider Pathways Review.

Our current position on NDIS is clear: while people who receive an NDIS package will be generally better off, we remain concerned about those who miss out on a package, and those families and carers who need support.

$105M to minimise ice harm

The Queensland Government’s investment of $105.5 million over five years to address the impact of crystal methamphetamine or ice on our families and communities is a significant and positive step.

Much of the funding is directed at harm minimisation, including funding for an information campaign, family support, and the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS), and new investment in residential drug rehabilitation and treatment.

This is in addition to $43 million over five years under the Connecting Care to Recovery 2016–2021 initiative for non-government treatment services; and $6 million on targeted early intervention, prevention, community engagement and specialist AOD treatment and interventions through Hospital and Health Services.

Read the full report.

Indigenous futures

I attended the Indigenous mental health and wellbeing forum in Perth two weeks ago. One speaker in particular stood out for me. She, and others more broadly, are challenging the current discourse that is largely focused on the impacts of the past, calling instead for solutions for the issues troubling Indigenous communities right now. She challenged every one of us to focus on building a positive future for the current generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Feedback appreciated

Thank you to all who took time to read my Viewpoint, Building lighthouses on headlands. It struck a chord with many and I am humbled by the thought-provoking comments you gave on LinkedIn. Your feedback is appreciated, so keep those comments coming, which will be considered as part of the overall feedback we have recieved about the direction of the revised Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan.