As previously highlighted by DIA (NDIS Draft Legislation Released), The Department of Social Services (DSS) released draft changes to both the NDIS Act and Rules for public comment and written submissions in early September with a deadline of October 7.

DIA has extensively reviewed the changes and have prepared a detailed written analysis and submission. Following the significant opposition to the introduction of Independent Assessments, the proposed changes do not include the introduction of IA’s (as promised by the Minister) nor do they alter the wording of “reasonable and necessary” which was a concern for many. The changes do include many positive aspects from the Tune Review and also the codification of elements of the Participant Service Guarantee. These are welcome exclusions and the aforementioned changes are, generally, welcomed.

DIA would, however, raise several areas of concern with the proposed changes that although seemingly small in nature, have potentially large ramifications for participants and providers.

After reviewing the proposed changes DIA CEO, Mr. Jess Harper, commented that:

“The proposed changes to the NDIS legislation are subtle, with the service guarantee front and centre, but when you dig deeper you realize just how many other changes are being quietly introduced. These proposed changes could change the way the scheme operates and detrimental to participants.”

DIA’s analysis and submission highlight several areas of concern that include:

  • Further limiting the NDIS’s commitment to co-design;
  • The potential for the changes, and therefore their interaction with existing legislation and rules, to be open to a wide spectrum of interpretation;
  • The changes regarding plan variation and reassessment focus heavily on the delegated authority of the NDIA but are silent in terms of definitions, criteria or right of appeal from a participant perspective;
  • The rules concerning the requirements for record keeping and the acquittal of funds are not clear in either intent or practical implementation;
  • The proposed changes have the potential to reduce a participant’s choice and control by excluding providers and how a participant may manage their funding. These changes lack detail in terms of how participant safety or harm is identified and managed or how a participant can have these decisions reviewed;
  • The proposed changes to limit DIA’s concerns about rouge operators within the Intermediaries market that are not being caught by the NDIA or NDIS Commission.
  • The retrospective nature of the inclusion of the reference to “previous plans” in determining how funds have been used and the consequences of decisions based on this is a significant concern; and
  • The removal of key wording from the Principles of the Act that arguably reduce the NDIA’s commitment to social and economic participation of participants which has implications for the human rights underpinning the NDIS and the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities.

From a consultation perspective, DIA CEO Mr. Jess Harper, expressed the feelings of many in the disability community, saying:

“Despite the level of the proposed change, DIA is disappointed in the extremely short and inadequate consultation with the disability sector.”

DIA would therefore encourage and welcome both Member and non-Member support of our submission which can be done via the dedicated DSS webpage here: Make a Submission.


  • Follow the link “Make a Submission”;
  • Select the last check box “I just want to make a Submission”;
  • In the Comments box indicate your support of the the Disability Intermediaries Australia submission.
    • This can also be included in conjunction with individual Submissions.

If you have any concerns you wish to highlight  directly to DIA, please email info@intermediaries.org.au and we will have one of our team contact you for further details.

DIA will continue to update the broader intermediaries sector with up to date information on the NDIS and is able to  continue to do this because of the support of our members. DIA encourages Intermediary providers to consider joining DIA as a member, to ensure we can continue to support our members and the sector.