House debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Statements by Members

Macarthur Electorate: National Disability Insurance Scheme

1:50 pm

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The NDIS should give participants and their families control and respect in dealing with their disability. The private assessors who are employed at the NDIS do not necessarily have the expertise or experience in the range of disabilities and conditions they assess. This is the case for my constituent, Megan Wedderburn and her daughter Indiana. Tomorrow is Epilepsy Awareness Day and Indiana has the most aggressive and treatment-resistant type of epilepsy that I have seen; she is in hospital every week. I have had the pleasure of meeting Indi on many occasions and she's a lovely girl who has a severe disability.

The NDIS should be providing an epilepsy awareness dog for her. That's what we have requested so that the seizures can be recognised before they occur. Instead, she has been denied this and the NDIS is providing strangers to give 24-hour surveillance of Indi in her home at a massive 40 times the cost to the Australian taxpayer of an epilepsy awareness dog. This is wrong; they should get what they want and what they need.

It's just one example of the consequences of a poorly managed and funded NDIS. I've had countless constituents approach me with concerns that they've been assessed on a set of criteria which do not reflect any expert knowledge of their condition. It must change.