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SDA: The elusive pieces of the puzzle

Despite the recent flurry of activity in the SDA space, there remains a critical missing piece of the puzzle, writes Brent Woolgar.

By Brent Woolgar

Updated 15 Apr 20247 Jun 2017

Over the past few months there has been a flurry of activity within the SDA space. First there was the release of the SDA Rule on March 14 – the long overdue holy grail of SDA – which has provided greater clarity around many of the previous grey areas of the Decision Paper. Luke’s recent article outlines some of the key considerations of the Rule.

This was closely followed by release of updated documents including the SDA Guide to Suitability, SDA Price Guide and the Terms of Business for Registered Providers. We understand that our article raising concerns about some of the issues these document created a lot of conversation within the sector. The NSW Government appears to have committed to change the Guide to Suitability to address the concerns raised in the article. 

However, there remains one key piece of missing information within the SDA market and without this piece of the puzzle being found there are concerns that the pace of SDA supply is not going to pick up pace anytime soon.

That elusive pieces of information are:

  1. Who has already built SDA and have had it registered and where is it located? and
  2. Who is currently planning on delivering SDA and where will this be and when will it be ready?

Contemplate for a moment a fortunate individual or organisation that has some spare cash lying around (non-profits with accumulated surpluses or philanthropic gifts; and for profits looking to loan or invest), some of them focused on social welfare and outcomes hopefully, they want to invest in the supply of SDA. This may be either by simply providing funds to an organisation that is proposing to develop SDA or it may be that they wish to develop and hold the SDA themselves.

These are the kinds of people and providers that the SDA decision paper contemplated with their “market response” to demand from participants. These are the people that are needed to deliver anywhere near the amount of accommodation required over the next 5 to 10 years. However, once the salivation over the SDA payments has subsided and they delve into the detail, many of them assisted by DSC’s team, the reality of what is expected of them starts to emerge.

There is an expectation that without any information on existing SDA or planned SDA or potential in-kind accommodation that they will invest millions of dollars in the hope that once it is built – the participant will come. And when they do come, they will miraculously require the exact level of accessibility that the accommodation has been built for. That’s not much to expect really is it?

I am not sure how many of you out there know many property developers or investors but having spent a large portion of my professional life interacting with them I am very confident that many of them are currently sitting in their plush homes watching pigs fly past their very clean and expensive windows. They are just not going to stump up the kind of money required without more information on the current and planned SDA delivery.

The NDIA will register SDA so it seems to be a fairly simple task to lodge the registration details into a database and make this available to the market – similar to existing lists of registered providers and so on. This piece of information could have a remarkable impact on SDA delivery.

We noticed that the NDIA has recently advertised for a Chief Information Officer so perhaps this could be added to the list of things to action once they settle in (assuming they don’t run away screaming).


Brent Woolgar

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