Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement
The Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) provides the national framework for the delivery, funding and development of specialist disability services for people with disabilities.
Under the three agreements signed so far (the first in 1991) all parties are responsible for funding specialist services for people with disabilities:
- the Australian Government has responsibility for the planning, policy setting and management of specialised employment assistance
- state and territory governments have similar responsibilities for accommodation support, community support, community access and respite, and
- support for advocacy and print disability is a shared responsibility between the Australian Government and state and territory governments.
Through the agreement, the Australian Government, and state and territory governments strive to enhance the quality of life experienced by people with disabilities through assisting them to live as valued and participating members of the community.
Under the current agreement, all Federal and state and territory Ministers with responsibility for disability services agreed to pursue five strategic policy priorities. These are to:
- strengthen access to mainstream and generic services for people with disabilities
- strengthen across government linkages
- strengthen individuals and families
- improve long-term strategies to respond to, and manage demand for, specialist disability services, and
- improve accountability, performance reporting and quality of specialist disability services.
All governments, and especially the Australian Government, placed a particular emphasis on the fifth priority - 'improve accountability'. This ensures that information that must be reported to the public is reported in ways that are understandable and transparent.
The Australian Government has signed individual agreements with each state and territory under the umbrella of the Multilateral Agreement. These agreements commit the parties to work together to address key issues for people with a disability including:
- flexibility between service provision by different levels of government
- the situation of young people living in residential aged care facilities funded by the Australian Government, and
- issues facing people with a disability who are ageing.
Financial commitments for the life of the current CSTDA are contained within schedule A1 of the agreement.