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The Morrison Government has a secret plan to dupe people with a disability and steamroll through controversial Independent Assessments while faking consultation, leaked documents reveal.
NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds previously said she will wait for the outcome of trials and consult with the disability community before legislating the current deplored model of Independent Assessments.
But a leaked communications and engagement strategy from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) outlines in detail their plan to announce a legislation date in late August, and to combat any backlash from the disability community through an expensive multi-media spin campaign.
The leaked strategy to help her execute her plan to force Independent Assessments onto NDIS participants concedes people with disability have “demonstrated strong, orchestrated opposition” to them.
It goes on to state: “There are ongoing risks if the Agency is not seen to have made changes in response to concerns raised in the consultation.”
The documents reveal the Morrison Government plans to roll out a marketing campaign, titled ‘We Did’, which will form the basis of its pretence that it listened and acted on participant and sector concerns.
The documents detail an “extensive and targeted” Government campaign to tackle opposition from the disability sector to the proposed changes.
The documents make it clear current consultation with NDIS participants and stakeholders is nothing but a sham. Minister Reynolds has made up her mind what changes she wants to push through despite telling participants and the sector she will listen to their concerns.
The latest leaks join a cavalcade of examples of the Morrison Government getting caught red handed trying to dismantle the NDIS.
In the past two months we have revealed the Government has:
- Awarded eight tenders worth a total of $339 million to deliver Independent Assessments based on sham consultations.
- Rewritten the NDIS legislation to steamroll through Independent Assessments and dismantle and privatise the Scheme.
- Inserted an entire chapter on Independent Assessments into the so-called ‘independent” Tune Review.
- Used sham pilots to push through the Independent Assessments instead of shelving them, as unilaterally advised.
- Used an external marketing consultancy firm to spin their proposed changes to its own staff.
- Falsely inserted the testimony of experts into a paper to spruik Independent Assessments. These experts have asked for their testimony to be removed as it was not given in relation to Independent Assessments.
Australians with disability will rightly be outraged that the Government is using taxpayers’ dollars to secretly fight their wishes while at the same time pretending to meaningfully consult with them. This is disgraceful, two-faced behaviour.
Instead of outsourcing highfalutin communications strategies, the Morrison Government should stop, genuinely listen and learn from lived and expert experience.
Minister Reynolds and NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman should immediately junk their plan for compulsory independent assessments and apologise to people with disability who have been misled.