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New Draft Legislation Could Shape the NDIS

InFocus NDIS Reform Update

The federal government is due to give its formal response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and the NDIS Review mid-year. However, new legislation introduced into parliament in March could shape the future of the NDIS.

Bill to Amend the NDIS Act

In March 2024, the federal government introduced a Bill to parliament to amend the NDIS Act. The draft legislation lays the groundwork for possible future changes to the NDIS.

The proposed amendments include:

  • Being clear on what can and cannot be funded by the NDIS
  • Increasing powers for the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to protect participants from illegal and unethical conduct
  • Basing NDIS budgets on a new needs assessment
  • Having two separate pathways into the scheme – one for those with permanent disability, and one for early intervention for children up to nine (9) years of age
  • Giving participants longer plans of up to five (5) years with more flexibility in how plans can be spent.

The federal government has said that the Bill is an update to existing laws that will enable the reform process to begin.

States and territories have however asked the federal government to delay the law changes, particularly to allow more planning into the creation of ‘foundational supports’ which last year they jointly agreed to fund.

Draft Legislation Predicted to Reduce NDIS Growth by $14.4 Billion

Meanwhile, the federal budget of 14 May 2024 revealed that the legislation, if passed, will reduce the growth of the NDIS by $14.4 billion over the next four (4) years. This means that the amount the government spends on the NDIS will continue to increase, but not by as much.

New Draft Legislation

The government says spending on the scheme is now projected to rise to $60.7 billion by 2027-28, with annual growth now forecast at 9.1 per cent.

The government says the savings will be achieved by:

  • Stopping plan top-ups when a participant’s plan is spent sooner than the period for which it was agreed, sometimes leading to a top-up.
  • Changing the way participant budgets are set.

The Progress of the Draft Legislation So Far

Parliamentary hearings into the draft legislation took place in late May 2024, with the government agreeing to some amendments to the Bill. The Senate Committee will hand down its report on the Bill by 20 June 2024. The Bill passed the House of Representatives recently and will now go to the Senate to be voted on.

How to Get Involved

The government has committed to consulting with the disability community and co-designing the changes in a meaningful way. It recently committed over $10 million in funding to 27 organisations representing people with disabilities and carers, who will help develop the changes proposed to the scheme. It will include discussion papers, face-to-face workshops and roundtables, and online engagement.

For questions and answers about the NDIS Amendment Bill, go to the Department of Social Services website.

You can subscribe to the Department of Social Services to receive updates on the NDIS reforms, including having opportunities to be involved in consultation. An Easy Read Guide to the reforms is also available.


Act: A law passed by the Australian Parliament and approved by the Governor General is called an ‘Act of Parliament’ or an ‘Act’.
Bill: A document containing proposed laws which are not yet in force.
Legislation: Laws are often called ‘legislation’.
Foundational supports: These are supports that would work alongside the NDIS and mainstream services. There has not yet been a decision around the specific services that will be provided as foundational supports.