The Morrison Government today released their plan to support Australians with disability, including renewed commitment to rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and initiatives to increase the employment of people with disability.
The plan includes a commitment to reducing red tape and providing people with disability and their families more help to navigate the scheme, as well as the creation of a 7 per cent employment target in the Australian Public Service.
But it does not include a commitment to use the current NDIS underspend to resolve continuing problems with the roll out of the landmark scheme.
People with disability and their families and carers have been calling on the government to reinvest unspent NDIS funds back into the scheme to fix ongoing problems such as long wait times and lack of help to navigate the complex scheme.
“People with disability and their families and carers have been incredibly frustrated that unspent NDIS funds have been quietly returned to government coffers while the scheme fails to deliver the support so desperately needed,” Campaign Director of Every Australian Counts Kirsten Deane said.
The Coalition’s plan includes $45 million to create a new information gateway for all people with disability and their families, and $20 million for the extension of the Community Connectors program, which will help people from rural and regional areas, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and ageing parents navigate the scheme.
If elected a Coalition government will also introduce a new NDIS Participant Guarantee at the completion of the roll out, which will set timeframes for entry into the scheme, plans and plan reviews.
The plan also includes work already underway on the NDIS such as:
- improving pathways through the scheme for people with psychosocial disability, complex needs, children and those who require specialist disability accommodation;
- changes to simplify the process for accessing aids and equipment; and
- a national action plan to help young people move out of aged care facilities into more appropriate accommodation.
“There is no question that when the NDIS works it absolutely changes lives. But, for too many people, the scheme is not working well. It is too complex and too bureaucratic – and as a result some people are falling through the cracks while others are missing out altogether,” said Ms Deane.
“That is why we are holding a National Day of Action tomorrow – calling on all MPs and candidates to commit to real action.
“Canberra needs to listen to us. After all, people with disability and their families know what is and what is not working when it comes to the NDIS – and we know how best to fix it,” said Ms Deane.