LIBERALS PRESIDE OVER DISABILITY CHAOS

BILL SHORTEN MP.
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7 months ago
LIBERALS PRESIDE OVER DISABILITY CHAOS
BILL SHORTEN MP
By their actions the Liberals have finally admitted the rigid staffing cap they imposed on the NDIA in 2014 has been hurting people with disability and depriving them of much needed goods and services.
 
Labor welcomes the lifting of the cap by 800 employees to 4,000 for this vital national scheme but this is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the expertise that needs to be brought back in-house.
 
The NDIA originally estimated its staffing levels would be 10,595 staff by 2018-2019 but instead a low cap still exists while the bill to the taxpayer for consultants and contractors has ballooned from $70 million in 2016 to $430 million in 2018.
 
This is classic Liberal technique: finally admit there is a problem but then only apply a band aid to the gaping wound.
 
Only following pressure from Labor has the Invisible Minister for the NDIS Stuart Robert appointed a CEO after nearly 170 days of leaving the organisation head-less.
 
Mr Robert has crowed that the new appointee “led the recent strategic planning taskforce to set up Services Australia”. 
 
But Mr Robert is just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
 
Services Australia - the rebranding and restructure of the Minister’s Department - is just another unfinished project that Mr Robert is not getting around to.  
 
People with disability will want to know whether the new CEO has any lived experience of disability. 
 
It also remains unclear whether he will base himself at the NDIA headquarters in Geelong.
 
It’s time this Government stopped playing catch up on the chaos in the NDIS.
 
The Liberals need to apply real leadership to help the hundreds of thousands of people with disability who can’t access funds for services and who are waiting for years for basic equipment like wheelchairs and hoists. 
 
Those people have got a raw deal as a result of the Minister’s ineptitude.
 
Social Services