November 10, 2017

Last night the ABC’s 7:30 revealed the story of Francis, a young Victorian man with a profound intellectual disability who has been in the Melbourne Assessment Prison since September because there is no suitable accommodation available for him.


His experience in prison, including self-harm, and the alleged abuse and neglect he experienced in his accommodation before this are devastating.


His high needs mean that his NDIS plan is funded to provide $1.5 million in support, but he has been confined in prison because there is no suitable accommodation available for him.


This is absolutely unacceptable.  


Martin Foley, the Victorian Minister for Disability, has stepped in immediately to ensure that Francis will have suitable accommodation and support.


However, Francis is not the only person in this dire situation – this is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Christian Porter must take the lead on this issue immediately and work with States and Territories to find a solution.


The Government has not developed a provider of last resort policy, or a market intervention framework. As recommended by the Productivity Commission in their recently released report on NDIS Costs, these policies need to be established as soon as possible.


The Government needs to ensure that arrangements exist for providers of last resort in all States and Territories to prevent this horrific abuse of people with disability. It is an abuse.


More broadly, the Government should be working to ensure the market is developing sufficiently so that people with disability can access the supports they need.


Christian Porter must prioritise people with disability and start to address the issues with the NDIS.