Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing

    $9 million to attract workers and build further capacity in WA’s disability sector

    11/04/2022 8:30 AM
    • $9 million provided to the disability sector through the State Government's Sector Transition Fund
    • Disability workforce attraction, worker retention, capacity building, and Auslan training a focus
    • Funding will help safeguard future sustainability in the WA disability sector 

    The McGowan Government will provide a further $9 million in funding to the disability sector through the State Government's Sector Transition Fund.


    The Sector Transition Fund was established to safeguard the future sustainability and build capacity of the Western Australian disability sector as part of the State's transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


    The funding package announced today will continue to support people with disability, their families and carers to achieve the best possible outcomes, while also assisting providers to continue delivering and maintaining the highest quality of supports and services.


    The State Government committed $20.3 million over two years from 2018 to 2019 to assist registered service providers with the transition to the NDIS operating environment.


    Following consultation with the sector, a further $14 million was allocated in 2020-21, with the latest $9 million in funding for 2021-22 bringing the McGowan Government's total investment in transition support to $43.3 million.


    The initiatives being funded in the latest phase include:

    • $900,000 to National Disability Services WA to deliver a disability workforce attraction campaign, with a particular focus on targeting males and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island people so that people with disability have access to a more diverse workforce that better meets their personal and cultural needs;
    • $3 million for a disability workforce retention and development fund, with $2 million quarantined for applications from regional and remote providers;
    • $2 million to deliver targeted supports that strengthen providers' capacity to comply with NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission requirements in a sustainable way;
    • $500,000 to WA's Individualised Services to deliver capacity building support to providers on the principles, processes and practices of effective supported decision making;
    • $400,000 to support Access Plus, in collaboration with the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters, to deliver accredited Auslan training and real-life interpreting experience;
    • $1 million to establish a community of practice for regional and remote service providers in both the Goldfields-Esperance and Kimberley regions, to share best practice, create new knowledge and establish local networks; and
    • $1.2 million to the Aboriginal Health Council of WA to streamline business systems and strengthen support coordination for registered NDIS Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. 

    Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Don Punch:


    "The McGowan Government is strongly committed to continuing to support WA's disability sector through the final stages of the transition to the NDIS.


    "This funding is about enhancing choice and control for NDIS participants and supporting NDIS providers to both attract and retain staff to strengthen their capacity to deliver the highest quality of sustainable supports.


    "This latest funding round will, for example, make training in Auslan available to people who will benefit from using it day-to-day, or who are pursuing Auslan interpreting as a career - with the importance of Auslan clearly demonstrated in the Premier's media conferences on COVID-19.


    "While certainly improving the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services, the administrative requirements imposed by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission have presented challenges for disability service providers - and funding provided through the Sector Transition Fund will strengthen the capacity of providers to meet these requirements.


    "A number of projects to improve the attraction, retention and development of staff in the disability workforce, with a focus on regional and remote areas, are also set to receive funding, to ensure people with disability and their families can receive services from skilled disability workers who are encouraged to remain in the sector."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900