AN ALBANESE LABOR GOVERNMENT WILL DEFEND AND FIX THE NDIS
Only an Albanese Labor Government will restore trust in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ensure a better future for the 4.4 million Australians with disability.
Today Labor reveals its plan to fix the NDIS and return it to its original vision.
Six key measures include:
1. Labor will revitalise the National Disability Insurance Agency: Labor will lift the staffing cap at the NDIA, commit to urgently reducing insecure labour hire arrangements, increasing permanent staff at the agency and improving the culture. Labor will also review NDIS design, operation and sustainability.
2. Stop the waste: Labor will review the excessive use of external lawyers, crack down on criminal activity and fraud, and review the value for money of lucrative consultancy contracts.
3. Boost efficiency: Streamline the planning process for better initial plans. Fix the planning pathway and appeals to make NDIS decision-making more efficient, fair and investment focused.
4. Stop the unfair cuts: Labor will introduce an expert review that will guarantee plans will not be arbitrarily cut.
5. Fixing regional access: Labor will appoint a senior officer within the NDIA to tackle the concerning barriers to service delivery in regional areas of Australia.
6. Put people back into the NDIS: Labor commits to co-designing changes to the scheme with people with disability and the sector and we will boost the number of people with disability on the board of the NDIA.
Beyond these major initiatives Labor will also:
• Increase advocacy funding: Labor will double existing support for disability advocacy, investing an additional $10 million over four years and match existing provider advocacy funding for AAT appeals.
• More flexible housing: Labor will pause the current changes to Supported Independent Living (SIL) and investigate solutions to excessive red tape and the mounting queues stopping people with disability accessing appropriate housing.
• Boost employment: Labor will create an evidenced-based Centre of Excellence to get more people with disability into long-term jobs.
• No one left behind: Labor will make sure all 4.4 million Australians living with disability get the action and support they need by measuring progress on a National Disability Strategy, developing a National Autism Strategy, backing research, and a central coordination point for disability – to ensure they are never again left at the back of the queue in a crisis.
This policy is the result of thousands of conversations with people with disability, NDIS participants, carers, families, advocates and providers.
Dealing with the NDIS should not be like having second full time job. We will return the NDIS to its original objective because at the moment, even if you get a good plan, there’s a constant fear it will be cut when it gets reviewed.
The Morrison Government’s mismanagement of the scheme has seen a 400% increase in appeals of NDIS decisions to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), with the NDIA wasting $28 million in just six months on legal fees to fight people with disability appealing for support at the tribunal.
Labor wants to stop people with disability and their families feeling like they are trapped in a maze of reviews, appeals and legal action.
We also recognise the NDIS needs more skilled carers.
And whilst there are many good service providers, we will crack down on the fringe-dwelling unregistered cowboys ripping people off.
The Morrison Government’s mishandling of the NDIS does not just jeopardise the safety of Australians with disability, it puts at risk a major contributor to the Australian economy, with NDIS supported industry valued at $52 billion per year, approximately double the cost of the scheme.
An Albanese Labor Government will use the existing budget in the forward estimates to fund and fix the NDIS for the 504,000 participants who rely on the scheme to live a better life.
Labor will work closely with people with disability, stakeholders and State Governments to ensure people with disability are given the choice and control they were promised when the scheme was designed.