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National Cabinet agrees to fund foundational disability supports

The government has just announced a major change for support outside the NDIS. Sara's got the details.

By Sara Gingold

Updated 15 Apr 20246 Dec 2023

National Cabinet has today reached an agreement to fund foundational supports for people with disability outside of the NDIS.

Foundational supports will be disability supports primarily for people not eligible for the NDIS. NDIS Review Chair Bruce Bonyhady has previously said foundational supports will include peer support, information and, for some adults - help with cooking, cleaning and shopping. It will also include early invention support for children with developmental delays. They will be delivered through existing government services when appropriate.

This is a major breakthrough for moving the NDIS away from being an oasis in the desert, the only lifeboat in the ocean, or whatever metaphor floats your fancy.

Foundational supports will be phased in over a currently unknown timeline.

National Cabinet, which consists of the Prime Minster and state & territory Premiers, have agreed to an initial 50-50 funding split for foundational supports between the Commonwealth and states & territories. A new Federal Funding Agreement will be worked out later. The Commonwealth has also agreed to cap State & Territory spending, to ensure they are overall better off.


National Cabinet has also agreed:

  • to implement legislative changes to improve participant experiences of the NDIS. Legislation will start going through parliament in the first half of next year, and
  • to adjust state and territory contributions to be in line with NDIS growth.


But why am I hearing about GST? 

If you’ve seen the media announcements, you will have noted that this agreement is somehow linked to GST. That is because a deal has been afoot, a quid pro quo, if you will. 

Basically, the Commonwealth went into National Cabinet wanting the states & territories to dedicate more funding for disability supports outside of the NDIS. The states & territories wanted an extension of the 2018 GST agreement which is set to expire in 2027, which entitles them to at least 70% of GST revenue. So the idea was to swap one for the other: states & territories invest more in disability supports, and in return the GST agreement is made permanent.

Everyone walks away a winner. Sounds simple enough right? Well, at least as simple as anything involving tax gets.


That’s it for now folks! Bill Shorten is speaking at the National Press Club tomorrow, so you will hear from us again then. In the meantime I have to scoff down my now cold lunch and make my way to the terminal. I’ve got a plane to the nation’s capital to catch.



Sara Gingold

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