Lessons for the NDIS from Indigenous programs

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Governments are working through COAG to plan and implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Based on past experience with the Closing the Gap initiative for Indigenous Australians and similar initiatives, COAG involvement may be very bad news for people with a disability.

A damning review of federal spending on Indigenous programs found billions of dollars paid out had dismal results. The previously secret Cabinet review says past approaches to fixing Indigenous disadvantage clearly failed.

The 470-page Finance Department review was released through the Freedom of Information process. Spending $3.5 billion annually over many years on Indigenous-specific programs "yielded dismally poor returns to date" and too often the outcomes "have been disappointing at best and appalling at worst".

see http://www.finance.gov.au/foi/disclosure-log/2011/foi_10-27_strategic_re...

PwASD and their associates should ask, "Is there any reason to believe that COAG involvement in spending billions of dollars in the disability sector will not lead to more 'dismal results'? Can we afford for the NDIS to fail? What will COAG do differently this time and will it work better?"