March 31, 2016

Malcolm Turnbull must dump his plan to take complete control of the National Disability Insurance Scheme ahead of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting tomorrow.

Earlier this month it was revealed that the Federal Government was trying to pressure the states and territories into sweeping changes to the NDIS that would allow the Liberals to unilaterally decide who is eligible for the scheme and what support people receive.

The exposed plan proposed giving the Federal Government the power to ignore the needs of people with disability, sideline the states and territories, sack board members and put its own cronies in charge.

After a revolt by state and territory disability ministers, Social Services Minister Christian Porter handballed the issue to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to consider.

Ahead of tomorrow’s COAG meeting, Malcolm Turnbull must publically dump his NDIS takeover plan. He must rule out cutting or delaying the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There is no good reason for the Turnbull Government’s radical, ideological attacks on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is being delivered on time and on budget, and is already transforming the lives of thousands of people with disability.

This attack on the NDIS comes as the Government continues to mislead Australians about the future of the scheme’s funding. Labor’s last Budget set out a 10-year funding plan for the NDIS. The Liberals are lying when they claim the scheme isn’t funded.

We are entering a crucial period for the NDIS and it is critical that the Turnbull Government make its successful implementation a priority. 

We need more answers on disability housing, we need more action on preparing a high-quality, well-paid workforce, and more attention needs to be given to sector development.

This is where the Government’s focus should be – not on taking complete control of the scheme, picking fights with states and territories, lying about funding or trying to sack the board.

Malcolm Turnbull can end the Government’s war on the NDIS today by dumping his plans for a federal takeover.


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