Future of Australian Hearing and contestability of hearing services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme

This Information Sheet has been prepared by the Departments of Finance, Health and Social Services and the National Disability Insurance Agency in response to questions from stakeholders, and in particular the Deafness Forum of Australia.

The Information Sheet reflects the important work that is underway across multiple Government agencies in the Social Services, Health, Human Services and Finance portfolios to ensure that Deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia will continue to receive valued and high quality hearing services in future, whether as participants of the NDIS or clients of the Hearing Services Program.

Is the Government privatising Australian Hearing?

Is the Government conducting a sale process to transfer Australian Hearing into non-Government ownership?

How will the NDIS change the provision of current Community Service Obligations (CSO) services?

How will the Government ensure the quality of services under the NDIS?

How will the NDIS impact the newborn screening program?

Will services to infants and children be made contestable under the NDIS?

How will families continue to receive appropriate independent advice and support?

What arrangements will the Government put in place to ensure that CSO services to clients are protected, if there was a transfer of ownership?

How will the Government and the public know it is getting value for money from the provision of CSO services following any transfer of ownership?

How will the public benefit element of the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) research be retained if ownership of Australian Hearing is transferred?

Will services to Voucher clients be affected if ownership of Australian Hearing is transferred?

Will Australian Hearing’s supplier contracts be transferred in the event Australian Hearing is transferred into non-Government ownership?

How will the Government ensure services in regional and remote locations are maintained?

How will client information be protected if ownership of Australian Hearing is transferred?

Will Australian Hearing have access to new clients and to Medicare?

Where can I find more information about the NDIS and how this will affect the delivery of hearing services in Australia?

Contact for information on this page: HearingProject@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 04 May 2016