House debates

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Statements by Members

National Disability Insurance Agency

1:40 pm

Photo of Richard MarlesRichard Marles (Corio, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) Share this | | Hansard source

On 3 June 2013, Prime Minister Gillard came to Geelong, to the Pier restaurant, and announced there that the national headquarters of the National Disability Insurance Scheme would be based in Geelong. It was a joint decision of the Gillard Labor government and the Napthine coalition government of Victoria. It was a critical decision for a city that had just experienced the decision by Ford to stop manufacturing cars in Australia, and within 12 months of that decision there would be a similar decision by Alcoa to close its Point Henry smelter. Because people knew how important this decision was for Geelong, it was supported across this parliament. Indeed, Opposition Leader Abbott at the time lent his support to this as well. It was to be the home of 450 staff. A new building is changing the skyline of Geelong as I speak; there is a $120 million commitment for building that.

But this morning in Senate estimates, when the new CEO of the NDIA was asked where he was based and would be based, he said, 'I typically spend a day to two days a week in Melbourne and Geelong'—a day to two days a week in Victoria, between Melbourne and Geelong. We're getting less than a day a week out of the new CEO. There were very unconvincing answers about where the senior leadership of the NDIA are based as well. The scheme's actuary is based in Sydney. I get that the CEO is going to travel, but where the CEO is based defines the headquarters of an organisation, and that must be Geelong.