February 16, 2021

I am updating the House on the government's continued attacks on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Many members will be aware that the agency, the NDIA, has begun so-called independent reviews of participants' plans. Let there be no mistake: this is an attempt to cut funding to participants. I've already been contacted by distressed constituents who have been contacted out of the blue by a friendly employee of the agency who has asked them if they would like to have their plan reviewed. In the matters that have come to me, these plans have been downgraded and funding has been cut. The most recent example is a constituent who was initially assessed as being suitable for a single apartment costing about $75,000. Then, after the review, this was changed to shared living with three others, which cost $43,000. As you would imagine, this has caused very significant distress for my constituent.

This is part of the Liberals' sick ideological attack on the NDIS, a scheme that is there to support the most vulnerable Australians. When Labor designed the scheme, the aim was to give participants choice and control over their lives and their plans. The coalition changed this to funding in terms of what is 'reasonable' and 'necessary', and they are now conducting reviews that are not goal driven but funding driven. This is not on. I assure my constituents I will continue to hold this rotten government to account for its continuing attacks on the NDIS.