Senate debates

Wednesday, 4 August 2021


Independent Review into Circumstances relating to the Death of Ann-Marie Smith

1:42 pm

Photo of Stirling GriffStirling Griff (SA, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] In question time yesterday, I asked Senator Reynolds, the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, about the government's response to the Robertson review. That review was prompted by the appalling and tragic death of Ann-Marie Smith after extreme neglect by her NDIS carer. I asked how many of the review's 10 recommendations had been implemented, and the minister took the question on notice. Her response, tabled at the end of question time, shocked me. One year on, just one recommendation has been implemented. This is simply unacceptable.

The minister must recognise that these recommendations are intended to ensure the safety and dignity of NDIS participants. The implementation of recommendations may be a routine matter for government, a matter of process, but it is not routine for those who depend on the NDIS. For them, it is necessary and it is urgent. We must do better in delivering the changes. Speaking after the death of Ms Smith, the minister said that no Australian should ever have to die the way that she did. If the minister genuinely believes this—and I think she does—then I would ask her to get seriously involved, to take immediate action to progress these changes and to provide comfort and assurance to those who are in our care. They deserve nothing less.