Scoping Paper - Tasmanian Disability Services Act 2011 Review


This Paper provides information about an independent review of the Disability Services Act 2011 (the Act).  Your views and experience of the Act’s strengths, and how it may be improved, are important.

The Act began operating on 1 January 2012. It describes how specialist support services funded by the Tasmanian Government are provided to people with disability in Tasmania. We want to know how well the Act has supported delivery of these services since 2012.

The independent review is being done at a time of significant change in the delivery of services to people with disability. Within this context, the review is examining three key areas:

  • Effectiveness of the Act in delivering safe, quality services to people with disability in Tasmania
  • Alignment with other Tasmanian legislation
  • How well it’s working during the transition period to the NDIS.

This review will be followed by a more comprehensive assessment of the Act once the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is fully implemented in Tasmania in 2019.

Context of Delivery of Disability Services in Tasmania

Since the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Convention) there have been important changes in approach to specialist disability services at national and local levels.

In 2010, a national strategy provided an agreed approach to supporting people with disability to maximise their potential and participation as equal citizens in Australian society. At the same time, the Tasmanian operational framework supported the creation of a new delivery system and led to the proclamation of the Disability Services Act 2011. The Second Reading Speech for the Disability Services Bill provides the context and intent for the Disability Services Act 2011

The Act intends that:

  • the needs and best interests of persons with disability are promoted
  • decisions and actions that may directly affect a person with disability should only be taken after that person has been consulted
  • decisions and actions should take into account the wishes of the person
  • the dignity of persons with disability and their individual autonomy, including the freedom to make their own choices and their right to independence, are respected.

Since 2013, the NDIS has gradually funded individualised plans to people with permanent and significant disability, initially to young people aged 15-24 and from July 2016, to other Tasmanians with permanent and significant disability. The NDIS will be fully operational in Tasmania in July 2019.

National policies, drawing on reviews of the NDIS Act and National Quality and Safeguarding Framework, have also been developed to address and improve the safety and quality of specialist services for people with disability.

During the transition to the NDIS, the Tasmanian Government continues to support the participation of people with disability in all aspects of Tasmanian life. The Disability Services Strategic Plan 2015-2018 and Disability Framework for Action 2013-2017 specifically address this.

The Purpose of the Review

This review is trying to find out how effective funding and service delivery arrangements are under the Act as a basis for strengthening and improving it. Input from people who require and access disability services, and members of organisations that administer these services, is vital.

A report on the Review’s findings will go to the Minister for Human Services who will table it in the Tasmanian Parliament.

A copy of the Act is available on the Tasmanian Legislation website

The Review Process (now closed)

There were a number of opportunities  for people to have their say.  These included:

  • Written Submissions
  • Online Survey
  • Face-to-face Forums around Tasmania

Through written submissions, survey responses and forums, the review committee wanted to understand how satisfied you are that the Act:

  • promotes the needs and best interests of people with disability, consults and considers individual wishes in decision-making, and respects their dignity and autonomy
  • provides coordinated, quality, safe services through disability services providers or individual plans
  • protects the safety and wellbeing of people with disability, including authorising and monitoring the use of restrictive interventions
  • provides for transparent and accountable reporting
  • supports the transition to the NDIS
  • operates effectively with other Tasmanian legislation
  • meets your expectations overall.

Key Stakeholders

Legal, health and government stakeholders, peak bodies and advocacy groups will be invited to join a roundtable discussion in early December in Hobart to consider technical and legislative issues relating to the Act.

Questions and Enquiries

Any questions relating to this review of the Disability Services Act 2011 should be directed to Fae Robinson: