Monday, 18 February 2019
Statements by Members
National Disability Insurance Scheme
Once again I'm forced in this place to talk about the government's mishandling of the NDIS. My office has been inundated with calls and visits from people desperate to get help and treatment and the services that they need. Every time we get onto the NDIA, we get, 'They have a shortage of staff; they can't do the job.' I have one example: 17-year-old Thomas. Because of the severity of his condition, Thomas's parents require reasonable modifications to their home to ensure safety, but instead of cooperation they've been met with obstruction and bureaucracy for the past two years. Countless reports of Thomas's condition all provided the same analysis: the NDIA should provide modifications to the home to keep their son safe. The cost of commissioning these reports now is costing more than the actual fit-out to the home. Instead of listening to Thomas's parents, the NDIA has been pushing for long-term behavioural therapy. While that's necessary, it doesn't actually address the immediate issues that he has and that his family have at the home.
As a result of the stress, Thomas's parents have had to effectively nail shut the doors of the house to prevent him injuring himself. The physical and emotional toll of the situation on the Quinlan family should not be compounded because this divided and chaotic government cannot properly manage the NDIS. The minister and his hapless Parliamentary secretary have all but slammed the door on people with disabilities. It's about time this government stood up for people—the most vulnerable people, people with disabilities—and stop giving handouts to those who are earning millions of dollars.