House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Statements by Members

National Disability Insurance Scheme

1:41 pm

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Adelaide, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

When the NDIS was established by the former federal Labor government, it was intended to give people living with disabilities dignity and respect and the ability to participate in day-to-day activities that we all take for granted. That might be something like getting out of bed in the morning, or maybe assisting them with simple acts that we do every day, like getting dressed in the morning. It was intended to give dignity and assistance to those that needed it, and that was the intention and the commitment of the then Labor government.

Unfortunately, under this Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, that hasn't been the case. I'm contacted every day by constituents with disabilities, frustrated by the constant blockages and sheer pushback that they receive for simply wanting to access help to make their lives easier—people like Tracy, who has severe disability and needs 24-hour care, with a carer to stay with her overnight. She's got a one-bedroom unit. She needs to be funded for a two-bedroom unit. They found a two-bedroom unit through UnitingCare, but the NDIS will not fund it. They say she's only eligible for one room. Where is the carer meant to sleep—on the floor, on the couch, or maybe in the bathroom?

This Liberal government last year ripped $4.6 billion out of the NDIS to prop up a budget surplus that didn't eventuate. Now, to add insult to injury, the government wants to bring in independent assessors, which everyone who is contacting me opposes.