National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Introduced to NT Parliament

Monday 15 April 2019 @ 11.26 a.m. | Legal Research

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (Authorisations) Bill 2019 (the “Bill”) was introduced to the NT Legislative Assembly on 20 March 2019, by the Hon Natasha Fyles, with the Bill subsequently referred to the Social Policy Scrutiny Committee (the “Committee”) for a report due back in the June 2019 sittings of Parliament.

The Committee called for submissions from the public and ultimately received  submissions from:

  • Darwin Community Legal Service;
  • Life Without Barriers;
  • Office of the Public Guardian;
  • Health and Community Services Complaints Commission; and
  • NT Community Visitor Program.

Background to the Bill

According to the Bill’s Explanatory Statement, the Bill:

“… establishes the authorisation of restrictive practices for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Bill provides an operational structure for the new role of the Senior Practitioner.”

The NT Government has previously agreed to two national frameworks: the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Sector and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. These two imperatives give clear time-frames for the establishment and operation of a restrictive practice authorisation process and establishment of a Senior Practitioner role in the Northern Territory.

As noted in the Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights, the object of the Bill is to:

“… provide safeguards around the use of restrictive practices to a NDIS participant who requires their use due to behaviours of concern that place the participant or others at risk of harm and will affect NDIS participants (who display behaviours of concern and require the use of restrictive practices), their guardian if they have one, their family, the NDIS Behaviour Support Practitioner and the NDIS Service Provider(s) involved in their care and support.”

The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights, also found:

“…The Bill is compatible with human rights. It positively affects the right of freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by stating the prohibited restrictive practices that will never be permissible nor authorised by the Senior Practitioner …”

Background to the NDIS

During 2010, the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission (the “Commission”) to carry out a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme. The Commission received more than 1,000 submissions from people with a disability as well as submissions from the disability sector.

Outlined on the NDIS website:

“… [In 2011,] the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the need for a reform to disability services through a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), at a meeting of the Select Council on Disability Reform in October 2011, it was agreed to lay the foundations for the NDIS by mid-2013 … This allowed people with disabilities and their carers to access the support they needed sooner.”

In March 2013 legislation was passed and the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) was created.

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National Disability Insurance Scheme (Authorisations) Bill 2019 (NT) - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase's LawOne service. 

History of the NDIS – Australian Department of Human Services (, Accessed 9 April 2019)

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