Tuesday, 17 October 2023
National Disability Insurance Scheme; Order for the Production of Documents
Bill Shorten? The minister, or the then opposition spokesperson, went to the election and promised no cuts. He said that there was no sustainability issue, when he knew there was a sustainability issue. Any reading of any budget document, any estimates or any of the many documents that we released and they are now not releasing demonstrated that this was a program in serious trouble, but it was far too important to let fail. Since then, as with every other program, the government has implemented a review, and by all accounts it is finding what every other review before it has found—that improvements to services by the NDIA need to occur in many areas and that the scheme is currently uncontrollable.
What don't we know yet? We know that there is some form of sustainability framework—it was referenced, as the minister said, in the ministerial council meeting—but there was no detail. What we still don't know is what modelling was undertaken to underpin the government's eight per cent NDIS growth cap. We don't know when this modelling was undertaken or which agencies were involved in the modelling. The government won't release the modelling. Why won't it release the modelling? Alarmingly, at the last estimates, the NDIA CEO herself and the chair, Kurt Fearnley, both confirmed they were not consulted and the scheme actuary confirmed they were not consulted. So this government has already banked, in the last budget, somewhere upwards of $74 billion from cutting the growth rate from 14 to eight per cent with absolutely no information. It is a complete disgrace. (Time expired)