DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, was established by the Government to provide individualised support for eligible people with permanent and significant disability. AGS played a fundamental role in advising on legal aspects of the development of the scheme, the associated Act and accompanying rules and assistance with commercial arrangements to support the implementation.

Establishing DisabilityCare Australia

During 2012–13, Leo Hardiman (Deputy General Counsel), Andrew Chapman (Counsel) and Joe Edwards (Senior Lawyer) provided a range of constitutional and other legal advice on the development and implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

A team of AGS lawyers was engaged in January 2013 by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to draft legislative instruments (known as 'rules') for the Act.

AGS also gave advice on machinery-of-government issues concerning the establishment of DisabilityCare Australia.

Richard Harding (Special Counsel Dispute Resolution) and Leah Edwards (Senior General Counsel) advised on employment arrangements for staff of DisabilityCare Australia.

AGS property lawyers led by Jim Sullivan (Senior Executive Lawyer) and assisted by Leah Lyons (Senior Lawyer) and Ranjeet Jordan (Senior Lawyer), also provided advice to assist DisabilityCare Australia to procure binding leases for 7 pilot sites in 4 States within a very short timeframe. AGS assisted in negotiations with each landlord's solicitors for the purposes of DisabilityCare Australia formally documenting the short-form leases of the pilot sites.

AGS commercial lawyers Linda Richardson PSM (General Counsel Commercial), Helen Curtis (Senior Executive Lawyer), Lillian Riches (Senior Lawyer) and Kate Cabot (Lawyer) provided probity advice to FaHCSIA for a number of procurements related to the design and implementation of the national disability insurance scheme.

This is an extract from the 2012–13 AGS annual report