Where’s the bus? NDIS road ahead unclear for transport services

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is transformative. Like any transformative change it comes with many challenges. While there is no doubt the NDIS has great potential to be far better than the systems that came before, it is also clear that there will be many more questions that have yet to be answered about what the NDIS will mean in practice – particularly for those services that made the old system work for people with disability.

Retaining the best of the old as we move towards the overall much better new is easy to say, but often hard to do. As services exit and enter, government services withdraw to make way for independents and not-for-profits and the NDIA struggles to figure out its operating model and IT systems, people with disability, carers and care professionals have all endured.

Trying to predict the future can be an anxious affair, so rather than sit back and wait for what may come, some are fighting for the future. While there is no guarantee of success, as Winston Churchill said, ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it‘.

Faced with uncertainty over their school transport assistance program for students with a disability, a group are petitioning to ensure their service will continue beyond 2020. As MP Mark Ryan describes it:

“Local parents and bus operators are calling on the Turnbull LNP Federal Government to guarantee the future of the current school transport assistance program for students with a disability in Queensland.

Many families are concerned by the lack of information from the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Agency regarding the future of the current school transport assistance program for students with a disability in Queensland.

Currently, this program is run by the Queensland Government.  But from 2020, the responsibility for the program transfers to the Federal Government under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  As the Federal Government is yet to provide any clear information regarding the program; many parents, school communities and transport operators have serious concerns about how the school transport assistance program for students with a disability will be delivered post-2019.

Many people agree that the current program run by the Queensland Government is one of the best in the nation. That’s why so many Queenslanders want the Federal Government to guarantee the program’s continued availability post-2019.

Queenslanders and the many students with a disability that rely on the school tranport assistance program need certainty from the Federal Government now.”

In seeking to ensure the school transport service for people with disability continues, MP Ryan is sponsoring a petition to get certainty on the future of the program.

“[we] request the House to support the Queensland Government’s efforts in lobbying the Turnbull LNP Federal Government to guarantee that the current school transport assistance program for students with a disability in Queensland will continue to be available under the NDIS from 1 January 2020”

For our navigators in Queensland we encourage you to visit the e-petition and consider giving your support to the cause. For those outside Queensland, you can still show your moral support by visiting the groups facebook page and giving them a like.

And if you have a transport provider in your area that you love, give them a review! Thousands of people visit CareNavigator.com.au each month, your reviews help them find the great services that make a real difference.

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