Thursday, 3 September 2020
Questions without Notice
As I said in a press release I put out last week, the government's committed to providing updates on numbers every day in terms of Australians with disability who have been impacted by COVID-19. I can report to the House that, since March 2020, cumulatively, 102 participants have tested positive to COVID-19, and currently there are 23 active cases. Numbers will continue to be put out every day to ensure all Australians are up to date.
[by video link] Yes. I didn't ask how many NDIS participants had been infected. I asked how many Australians with a disability had been infected. The NDIS participants are a cohort, or a smaller group. The number of people with a disability, including those in aged care, is larger, logically.
If I can just inform the House that there's a survey of disability and aged care that comes out, done by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It reports that 4.4 million Australians have a disability of some sort. As I've just explained to the House, those with permanent and significant disability are in the NDIS and the numbers I've just given, which are reported daily to ensure accountability.
In terms of numbers of people with a disability as a whole, it would require the states and territories knowing who every single Australian is who replied to that survey saying they have a disability. It would require those Australians to self-report in some way to the states and territories, and then for those states and territories to report them.
If the member is suggesting that that onus, that responsibility, should be put on the states and territories, then I would suggest that the member speak to the states and territories and ask them to do that. The Commonwealth responsibility is to the NDIS, a responsibility we take seriously, which is why I can report with great accuracy the daily numbers, why I can report exactly where we're up to—why we can report on everything. But in terms of all Australians with any disability—
Mr Shorten interjecting—
that is a question, quite rightly, for the states and territories, who have the responsibility, within all agreements, to care for Australians with a disability who are not in the NDIS.