House debates

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Statements by Members

National Disability Insurance Scheme

1:54 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the reasons that this country has a National Disability Insurance Scheme is the work of an excellent grassroots disability organisation called Every Australian Counts. Today Kirsten Dean and Lynn Foreman from Every Australian Counts have made the journey from Melbourne to visit the current minister and me in Canberra. Kirsten and Lynn brought with them more than 1,000 stories, which I hold in my hand. These are stories from Australians with disability who have contacted them in despair—all within the last month. When the government had an underspend of $4.6 billion in NDIS, there are a thousand stories here of the delays and the problems with the NDIS. These people are outraged that the government is pocketing $4.6 billion when genuine Australians with genuine needs needed these services.

There are a thousand stories, but I will just provide three of them for the information of the parliament. Nikki writes, 'My four year old who cannot walk has been waiting over nine months for a special-needs stroller to be approved and well over 12 months for a therapy bench to be approved. We have to carry her everywhere, which means that we don't leave the house very often.'

Dave wrote:

I received my budget for the year but it is taking so long to get stuff done or purchased. I won't be able to spend it before the year is up and they will probably reduce next year's budget.

Finally, Rebecca writes:

My son's plan was cut by $7,000. I put in a review and someone rang me six months after the review and informed me there are thousands of reviews and we would have to wait our turn. It was never our turn.