Disability Roundtable Meets in Raymond Terrace

Port Stephens MP and Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Kate Washington, hosted a roundtable today with disability services organisations and NDIS participants to discuss the impact of the NDIS and the privatisation of the NSW Government’s disability agency.

At the roundtable, a number of NDIS participants, parents of participants and NDIS providers shared with Ms Washington their frustrations with the NDIS and the consequent impacts on their lives and livelihoods.

The roundtable comes as the NSW Parliament holds a Parliamentary Inquiry into the roll out of the NDIS and its impact on local services.

This Inquiry has heard of the devastating impact of cuts to disability advocacy organisations, and shocking cases of people falling through the gaps since the privatisation of the NSW Government’s disability agency.

The Raymond Terrace roundtable was organised with the valuable support of Mission Australia’s Tracy Wright and The Business Centre’s Chantelle Robards.

Concerns raised in the roundtable by NDIS participants and their families included:

- inadequate funding in NDIS plans for supports and services including assistive technology, car and house modifications and assistance dogs, - the lack of access to trained, experienced support workers, - the lack of support for issues deemed to be ‘health issues’ including catheter changes and wound care, - the lack of flexibility in plans to allow for changes or degenerative conditions, - the lack of availability of local supports and services, and - the lack of access to specialist disability accommodation.

For service providers, common concerns were: - demand for their services is outstripping their capacity, - new auditing requirements imposed on NDIS providers by the Quality and Safeguards Commission is placing an administrative and cost burden on businesses, threatening their viability, - large debts are being carried by providers due to delayed or non-payment by the NDIS, and - the risks of market failure leaving people with disability very little choice and control.

Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP

“Today’s roundtable shed further light on the complex issues facing the disability services sector. I thank everyone who participated for sharing their frustrations and concerns.

“There’s a very real and urgent risk of market failure, with service providers finding it too difficult to remain viable. We cannot afford to lose good service providers, we need more.

“The Berejiklian Government has privatised all state disability services with obscene haste. The Minister for No Disability Services simply refuses to accept there are issues, and he certainly doesn’t think his Government has any role to play in supporting people with disabilities. Today’s roundtable highlighted that there are many problems and that the State must play a role in making the NDIS work for everyone.

“Only a Luke Foley Labor Government will restore safety net disability services in NSW.”

This item was distributed as a media release on Monday 8 October 2018.


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