13 April 2021

New NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds must stop hiding and come clean on a freshly-revealed secret plan to slash services to Australians with disability.

A new Sustainability Action Taskforce – a razor gang within the National Disability Insurance Agency – has told staff to “slow” down getting Australians with disability on the NDIS and to slow their funding.

It’s time Minister Reynolds stopped treating the NDIS as a demotion and started burying Stuart Robert’s terrible legacy.

She must front the public, explain this secret plan for Australians with disability and the NDIS, and cancel the razor gang.

The leaked Government documents, labelled for “verbal distribution only” and “strictly not for external distribution”, outline guidelines for all frontline staff to wind back the number of people taking up the scheme and slow growth.

It specifically says, “The actions of the SAT will make immediate changes to slow growth in participant numbers, slow growth in spend per participant and strengthen operational discipline”.

After nearly eight years of Liberal Governments, the documents reveal a kneejerk plan to slash costs because those in charge have bungled the books.

The document states, “At the moment the costs of the Scheme are increasing at a much higher rate than expected because we’ve been building budgets based on inconsistent information and decision-making”.

Will anyone be made accountable for this purported major book-keeping error? Or is it only Australians with disability who will pay the price in the Government’s latest coverup?

The razor gang leak comes after weeks of ugly revelations from whistleblowers, including:

Leaked legislation revealing plans to exclude certain disability groups from the NDIS, give the Minister “God powers” to unilaterally change the Scheme, and steamroll in a plan to reassess the 430,000+ Australians already on the Scheme;
Revelations the Government intervened in what was meant to be the independent Tune Review and inserted their own plan for compulsory assessments for NDIS participants;
And the fact the architects of the vile Robodebt scam have been put in charge of the Government’s plan to overhaul the NDIS.
Labor created the NDIS as a scheme to give people with a disability choice and control.

The NDIS is a right not a ration. Yet what we have seen in the past eight years is that the Coalition is hell-bent on secretly slashing it at every possible opportunity.

Minister Reynolds needs to halt plans to cut the scheme and reassure the disability sector that she will not mindlessly continue the sinister work of her predecessor.