The NSW Labor Opposition has secured a parliamentary inquiry into the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the provision of disability services in NSW.
Labor MLCs Greg Donnelly and Courtney Houssos, with the support of the Christian Democrats Paul Green and the Greens Dawn Walker, secured endorsement for this very important inquiry yesterday.
Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Kate Washington MP welcomed the inquiry and labelled it ‘sorely needed’ after speaking with countless people with disability, carers and families along with peak disability organisations across the state. There is a consistent message that too many people are struggling to access the supports they need.
It is estimated that more than 80% of people with a disability in NSW will not qualify for the NDIS, and the decision of the NSW Liberal-National Government to privatise all state-run disability services has created gaping holes in the delivery of critically important disability support across the state.
This privatisation, along with staffing caps and outsourcing by the Federal Liberal-National Government, have left thousands of people with disability in NSW without necessary support and a much needed safety net.
Delays in accessing or altering NDIS plans are amongst the most common complaints about the scheme’s implementation. However, there are numerous other complaints including the late or non-payment of invoices, inconsistent funding plans, a poorly supported workforce and people with complex conditions such as cystic fibrosis who are being denied access to the scheme.
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“The NDIS is a transformational initiative for people with a disability, but its implementation has seen too many people’s lives become more difficult.
“The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government have heartlessly privatised all state run disability services, leaving people with nowhere to turn. Vulnerable people are falling through the gaping holes caused by this privatisation.
“There are consistent patterns emerging regarding gaps in services, including early intervention for autism, respite accommodation and accommodation for children with complex disabilities.
“I have met too many people with disabilities, their families and carers who are near or at breaking point. The NSW Labor Opposition pressed hard for this inquiry to highlight the gaps and importantly identify what needs to be done to address them.
“I encourage those with concerns about the implementation of the NDIS and the provision of disability services in NSW to make their voices heard and participate in the inquiry.”
For further information about the inquiry’s Terms of Reference and how to make a submission visit https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2496.
This item was distributed as a media release on Saturday 23 June 2018.