Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert has announced the controversial scheme will be overhauled after conceding Australians aren’t satisfied.
Robert made the announcement while outlining the government’s plan to deliver the final 20 per cent of the NDIS to Australians in need. He recognised complaints that the NDIS needed to be changed to grant quicker access to those in need of support.
“Unfortunately, I have also heard the NDIS is not always living up to high expectations,” Robert said.
Also read: Budget almost in black on NDIS underspend
Key areas where NDIS is failing, Robert acknowledged, are long wait times, poor access and financial stability.
New quarterly data released on Thursday showed the NDIS now has more than 310,000 participants, up from 30,000 in 2016.
This figure includes more than 114,000 receiving disability support for the first time, and Roberts estimated the disability sector would require at least 90,000 more workers in the next five years.
But some of the minister’s claims have left social groups frustrated, taking to Twitter to express their doubts.
Minister Robert stated the scheme was “demand driven and uncapped,” but social group Every Australian Counts said that wasn’t the case.
“There is no way the #NDIS could ever be considered a demand driven system,” they tweeted.
“There are too many gaps, hoops, loopholes, potholes, booby traps, dead-end mazes and endless miles of red tape for it ever to be considered to be demand driven.”
And just once more for those up the back. There is no way the #NDIS could ever be considered a demand driven system. There are too many gates, hoops, loopholes, potholes, booby traps, dead-end mazes and endless miles of red tape for it ever to be considered to be demand driven. https://t.co/CacxANUfN0— Every Australian Counts (@EveryAustralian) November 14, 2019
And others agreed.
“This is arrant nonsense,” one user responded. “They have actuaries in charge of a service for people with disabilities, and naturally they are cutting funding.”
Robert faces questioning on CEO choice
The minister faced questions over his decision to choose Martin Hoffman, whose Twitter was found to expose sympathy for Donald Trump and antipathy towards the labour movement, as the NDIS agency’s CEO.
In response to the questions, Robert said he “absolutely and utterly reject[s] any assertion that he is not a public servant of the highest calibre”.
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