House debates

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Questions without Notice

National Disability Insurance Scheme

3:01 pm

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

My question is to the Prime Minister. Harper is five years old. He has been diagnosed with Batten disease. Batten disease is a degenerative neurological condition that gives children living with it an average life expectancy, from diagnosis, of seven to 10 years. Harper had been funded for 24/7 home care under the NDIS, but in May Harper's funding was cut by more than half, to only allow for three overnight care visits a week. Why is this, Prime Minister?

3:02 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I'll ask the Minister representing the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme to respond further. The issue that has been raised by the member sounds very concerning, and Harper's condition sounds absolutely heartbreaking for him but also for his family. I will ask the minister to make further comment on this, but I'd be pleased to learn more of that case and look into that matter with the minister.

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | | Hansard source

We thank the member for Maribyrnong for bringing the matter to the House's attention. The NDIS is an insurance scheme that is designed to provide funding that is reasonable and necessary, and, in this case, on the facts that the member has presented, it sounds both reasonable and very necessary. It's designed to go up and down with stages of someone's life. I'll speak to the minister directly after we've finished here to ensure that the funding is necessary for the various stages of this little child's life, and if need be we'll get the situation reviewed as is provided for under the law.