Queensland Introduces Bill for NDIS Information Sharing

Thursday 22 March 2018 @ 12.05 p.m. | Legal Research

On 20 March 2018, the Queensland Government introduced the Disability Services and Other Legislation (Worker Screening) Amendment Bill 2018 (QLD) (‘the Bill’) into Parliament. The Bill is for the purpose of leading the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (‘NDIS’) by providing for criminal history information sharing for the purposes of the NDIS, and inserting provisions related to the screening of sole traders of disability services.

Background

On 9 December 2016, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to implement the NDIS Framework across their jurisdictions. Under this framework, all the participating governments agreed to implement a nationally consistent approach to worker screening, which would include the assessment of an expanded range of criminal history information.

Legislative Amendments

The main objective of the Bill is to enable Queensland to exchange expanded criminal history information with worker screening units in other jurisdictions for the purposes of NDIS worker screening. The Bill makes the following amendments:

  • Amendment of the Police Service Administration Act 1990 (QLD) to extend the existing framework of information sharing to allow the same range of information to be shared by the Queensland Police Service with NDIS worker screening units in other jurisdictions;
  • Amendment of the Disability Services Act 2006 (QLD) to clarify requirements related to the screening of sole traders of disability services during the transition period until full scale implementation of the NDIS commences in Queensland.

Ms Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors, stated in her second reading speech:

“The bill amends the Police Service Administration Act 1990 to ensure Queensland can share the same range of expanded criminal history information with the NDIS screening units in other jurisdictions. Although full scheme operation of the NDIS does not commence in Queensland until 1 July 2019, these amendments are required during transition to enable Queensland to share information with worker screening units in each state and territory, so they can carry out holistic and consistent NDIS worker screening checks as their jurisdiction transitions to full scheme NDIS and commences the new NDIS worker screening processes under the IGA. This could occur from as early as 1 July 2018 in New South Wales and South Australia.”

On the provisions relating to screening requirements for sole traders of disability services providers, Ms O’ Rourke said:

“Sole traders are individuals who are NDIS registered providers and who personally provide disability services to NDIS participants. While the provisions of the Disability Services Act 2006 require sole traders to be screened, the amendments proposed by this bill clarify the operation of the provisions under the act to ensure they clearly operate in relation to the particular circumstances of a sole trader. The bill clarifies that screening of sole traders is required under the Disability Services Act 2006. It also provides that, in making an application, a sole trader must have their identity verified by a prescribed person, such as a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations, lawyer or police officer.”

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Sources:

Disability Services and Other Legislation (Worker Screening) Amendment Bill 2018 (QLD) and associated explanatory speech and explanatory notes, as published on TimeBase LawOne.

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