5.1 The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) represents a significant new area of Commonwealth responsibility and expenditure with respect to people with disability in Australia.
5.2 The ALRC recommends that the Commonwealth decision-making model be applied to the NDIS, which already incorporates elements of supported decision-making. This will require some amendment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) (NDIS Act) and Rules to provide for legal recognition of ‘supporters’ and ‘representatives’, including provisions for their appointment, removal and associated safeguards.
5.3 The ALRC also recommends that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) should retain the power to appoint a ‘representative’ for a participant as a measure of last resort. There are circumstances where the exercise of this power is necessary—in the absence of a Commonwealth guardianship tribunal or equivalent body—to ensure that people with a disability are properly supported in relation to the NDIS.
5.4 There should be a presumption that an existing state or territory appointed decision-maker with comparable powers and responsibilities should be appointed as an NDIS representative. Amendments to the legislation governing state and territory decision-makers may be necessary to facilitate this.
5.5 In the light of the shift towards a supported decision-making model, the ALRC also recommends that the Australian Government provide guidance and training in relation to decision-making and the NDIS.