House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Statements by Members

Bendigo Electorate: Disability Care

1:55 pm

Photo of Lisa ChestersLisa Chesters (Bendigo, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

A few of my colleagues have talked about the crisis in aged care. I am here to talk about the crisis we are currently facing in disability. It frustrates me that here at we are at the end of a sitting fortnight and the government has been focused on almost everything but the impact the pandemic is having on our sectors most in need of support—aged care and disability.

To sum up the experience of disability, I will highlight one of the experiences of one of the providers in my area. The NDIS model means they have a high proportion of casual staff that are going without pay because services are cancelled on a daily basis, because of the impact of the pandemic. Only one box of RATs arrived from this government last week—no idea when the next will arrive. As a result, staff are having to source their own—tough in a regional town, and tough when you're a casual having to pay high prices. It means that staff can't go to work. Therefore, they are missing out on pay and clients are missing out on support.

There is a lack of PPE; they don't get access to the national stockpile. When they put the order in it takes weeks and weeks for it to arrive. There is little financial support for staff trying to jump over hurdles of safety and wellbeing of clients, and they are struggling. They are likely to make a half-a-million-dollar loss this year because of the impact of the pandemic, yet they have not received a return phone call from anyone in the agency or the department— (Time expired)