16/06/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC

The Marshall Liberal Government is providing in-principle support for all recommendations in the disability taskforce interim report – and will be pushing for national reform.

The independent taskforce, co-chaired by Dr David Caudrey and Kelly Vincent, has outlined 12 key safeguarding gaps and five associated recommendations.

The report will be released publicly today.

Work will begin immediately to address urgent, high-level gaps that both the State and Federal Governments need to consider and address.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink welcomed the interim report and thanked the taskforce for their hard work so far.

“Thank you to the independent taskforce who have worked hard to deliver their interim report quickly and on-time, so we can begin to close any urgent gaps for people living with disability,” said Minister Lensink.

“Together, these recommendations will provide additional layers of safeguarding for people living with disability in South Australia, while all recommendations will require further detail, preliminary work has already begun.”

Minister Lensink said she had already spoken to Federal NDIS Minister Stuart Robert to ensure the NDIS swiftly begins actioning the urgent, interim findings.

“Given the majority of gaps fall within the Commonwealth’s responsibility, I’ve spoken and written to NDIS Minister Stuart Robert pushing for urgent changes to be actioned immediately by the Federal Government,” said Minister Lensink.

Minister Lensink said she was pleased the taskforce had given consideration and recommendations regarding the future role of the Community Visitor Scheme in the NDIS environment, including the Opposition’s bill.

The taskforce interim report concluded: “Advice received indicates that significant parts of the private members bill (Labor’s legislation) would likely be inoperable … this (the CVS) is a complex matter and should not be rushed.”

Minister Lensink said she looked forward to receiving the final report at the end of July, which will look specifically at how we can improve safeguards and oversight for people living with disability in South Australia under the Federal system.

“In the meantime, the taskforce will be consulting more widely with the disability sector and key stakeholders to finalise their report and recommendations,” said Minister Lensink.

“The case of Ann Marie Smith shocked everyone and there’s no doubt she deserved much better.

“Ann Marie Smith was let down over a number of years by a series of system failures and we are determined to correct them."