Services in rural and remote areas
Rural and remote areas – a unique opportunity
People with disability need appropriate access to services wherever they live, including in rural and remote areas.
Because these areas are currently under-serviced by providers, they present a unique opportunity for providers to deliver much-needed services to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants while facing less competition than in urban areas.
While delivering services in rural and remote areas can be more difficult than urban areas, there are a number of measures and resources to assist providers to deliver services in these areas.
Initiatives making it easier for providers to deliver in regional and remote areas
The 2018 Independent Pricing Review made a number of recommendations designed to address the unique challenges faced by providers in regional and remote Australia, which the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is implementing according to the agreed timeframe.
The recommendations include the NDIA working with other community services and providers to support local workforce development, and, in some regions, establishing panels of providers to quote on service delivery to streamline the sourcing process. The NDIA has committed to implementing this recommendation in areas where it would have the most benefit, subject to further consultation.
The NDIA is also conducting targeted reviews of some complex issues related to pricing in rural and remote areas, including therapy services and prices in Western Australia. Recommendations from these reviews will be implemented by July 2019.
Support through government and other programs for providers operating in rural and remote areas
Boosting the Local Care Workforce Transition Assistance Funding
As part of the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program, eligible service providers may be able to apply for Transition Assistance Funding, which may include business advice on how best to deliver services in rural and remote areas, which is a priority during the first funding round.
The NDIS Jobs and Market Fund
Service provision in rural, regional and remote communities is one priority area of the $45 million Jobs and Market Fund. Projects funded through the Jobs and Market Fund must provide collective benefit to the NDIS market and workforce generally. Please visit the Community Grants Hub website for more information on the Jobs and Market Fund.
Growing your workforce
The Community Development Program (CDP) is a remote employment and community development service that supports job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers and contribute to their communities. Employer incentive funding is available to help businesses manage the costs of employing remote job seekers.
Visit the NDIS Demand Map to see projected demand for services in your area.
Connect with a Boosting the Local Care Workforce Regional Coordinator to receive localised support and help in identifying opportunities in your area.
Wobbly Hub Rural Research Team, a network of researchers dedicated to improving the lives of people with disability and their carers in rural and remote Australia. Wobbly Hub has produced a number of resources for providers and families focused on accessing allied health services in rural and remote areas, and developing innovative, community-based solutions.
The NDIS provides a range of price guides by location, including remote and very remote price guides.