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NDIS: WA looks to join National Disability Scheme rollout, but sticking points remain

Thousands of people with disabilities in Western Australia are set to wait weeks longer for the future of the NDIS to become clear.

Key points:

  • WA appears set to join the national NDIS, saving millions of dollars
  • Former state government committed WA to running the scheme instead of Commonwealth
  • It’s understood a number of sticking points remain, including estimates of the number who’ll sign up
  • Labor launched a review into the future of the WA-run scheme after winning the March election.
  • WA appears set to join the national system, saving millions of dollars of administrative costs.

“If we can sign up to the Commonwealth approach that gives people more individual choice, saves the state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, then that’s what we’ll do,” WA Premier Mark McGowan told the ABC.

In its final days, the former state government committed WA to running the scheme for its residents, instead of the Commonwealth agency based in Geelong.

“And to unravel that, and to make sure we get a better deal, does take a bit of time,” Mr McGowan said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mr McGowan have discussed the issue.

High-level negotiations continue, but it is understood a number of sticking points remain, including estimates of the number of people who will sign up.

The current deal assumed 39,000 participants, while other modelling has predicted about 45,000.

“We are very advanced in our conversations with the Federal Government,” WA Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson said.

“I hope that a new bilateral agreement will be signed and announced in December.”

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