686. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Disability Services:
I refer to the tragic life and death of Ann Marie Smith and to the delay in Western Australia’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission.
(1) Does the McGowan government intend to introduce a disability worker registration scheme?
(2) If yes to (1), would the minister please provide some information on any proposed scheme, including anticipated time frames?
(3) If no to (1), why not?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ann Marie Smith and support the criminal investigation into the circumstances of her death. Ms Smith’s death in South Australia, however, cannot be associated with the decision to defer Western Australia’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission until 1 December this year. The WA disability sector overwhelmingly requested a six-month deferral to allow it to focus on critical support issues for people with disability during COVID-19 recovery. In the interim, the complaints investigation and resolution area of the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office will be allocated more resources, and the existing quality and safeguarding functions performed by the Department of Communities will continue.
(1) As per the intergovernmental agreement with the commonwealth government, the McGowan government is committed to safeguarding people with disability through the implementation of National Disability Insurance Scheme worker screening.
(2) NDIS worker screening will require people who provide NDIS supports and services through a registered NDIS provider to undergo a worker screening check. All states and territories, including the WA state government, are currently working with the commonwealth government on the introduction of nationally consistent worker screening in early 2021.
(3) Not applicable.