Thursday, 10 December 2020
Questions without Notice
Australia: 2020, National Disability Insurance Scheme
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families and Social Services. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government recognises and thanks the incredible work of everyday Australians who have stepped up and offered critical volunteer support throughout this challenging year?
And, in his capacity as the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will he please update the House on the tireless work of Australians involved in the NDIS who have assisted us through 2020?
I thank the member for Boothby for all of her hard community work, especially in raising the issue of endometriosis, in line with the members for Berowra, Forrest and many other members who have stood up in this chamber for important issues.
In this country there is, and has always been, enormous need, and when there's need, there are volunteers. The year 2020 has been one of extraordinary need: drought, fires, floods, pestilence and pandemic. Australians have stood up to this: delivering food hampers, checking on neighbours, Lifeline calls, lifting communities, encouraging, cooking, delivering, supporting and—to all of these fabulous Australians—we all collectively say thank you.
There are people like 20-year-old Alex, who was concerned about his sister, a doctor, skipping meals as her workload skyrocketed. Alex began to batch-cook lasagne for her. Alex put an offer for help on Facebook and, within a short time, had 10 others helping him to literally pump out 300 free meals across the Melbourne metropolitan hospital system. I reckon we can all say thanks to Alex for that.
There are people like South Australian farmers, Meg and Ollie Clothier, who dedicated 2020 to caretaking properties so drought affected farmers can get a much-needed break. The couple have clocked up 35,000 kilometres in this pursuit and I reckon this House can say thank you to Meg and Ollie for that sort of work.
There are people like the Lions Club of Mount Gambier, who provided firewood and a heap of encouragement to South Australian Police and Defence Force personnel as overnight temperatures plunged at lonely checkpoints. I reckon we can collectively shout out to the Lions Club for that.
There are people like Steven, an NDIS participant, who volunteered his sewing skills to make pouches for orphaned wildlife out of donated and discounted fabric, and his mum, Mary, who made sure that these pouches went all over Australia. I reckon we can say thank you to Steven and Mary for what they've done.
There are people like Shane, an NDIS participant, whose manufacturing company released a new line of water based hand sanitisers to address the very real hidden challenge of how to maintain hand hygiene when manually using a wheelchair. His company has just launched a whole new range of Australian made, wheelchair-accessible sanitiser stations. I reckon, as a House, we can do a big shout-out to Shane for his work helping people with wheelchairs.
There are people like Volunteering ACT, right here in Canberra, whose members have supported some of our community's most vulnerable during the bushfire recovery. I reckon we can shout out to volunteering ACT for all of that great hard work.
It's been a tough year, but Australians are a resilient lot and they've stood up, they've helped those in need and I think collectively we can say thank you.