Morrison’s NDIS locking most vulnerable out

Published on Mon 29 November 2021 1:34pm

Deputy Speaker, rather than working to strengthen the NDIS this government has removed the reasonable and necessary test, introduced independent assessments with a clear intention of restricting access, made it harder to appeal NDIS decisions, and explored other ways to push people off the NDIS and into less suitable mainstream services.

Mr Wilson (4:16pm) – Sadly, Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government’s inability to govern in the best interests of vulnerable Australians has extended to the mismanagement of the NDIS. As a constituent said to my office recently, ‘it’s as if this government has redesigned the system to proactively lock the most vulnerable out.’

One of the most heartbreaking local cases for me involves Avril and Earl, the grandparents and guardians have two boys, both of whom have autism, foetal alcohol syndrome, PTSD, and severe behavioural issues. Needless to say, Avril and Earl undertaking an incredible care responsibility, the nature of which I don’t think any of us could imagine.

On the advice of their specialist support worker and with considerable clinical evidence they successfully applied for one of the boys to receive a place in an independent supported living programme. Yet after a drawn out and convoluted process, the NDIS has declined this request with no explanation, the family must now weigh up whether they have the strength to appeal through the AAT process.

Deputy Speaker, rather than working to strengthen the NDIS this government has removed the reasonable and necessary test, introduced independent assessments with a clear intention of restricting access, made it harder to appeal NDIS decisions, and explored other ways to push people off the NDIS and into less suitable mainstream services.

Avril and Earl are not alone. There are more than 12,000 people in my electorate who provide regular unpaid care to a family member with a disability.

They deserve a high quality and supportive NDIS. They deserve a better government.

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