Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP, has today highlighted community concerns in Central Victoria about the Liberal Governments failures in the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Ms Chesters was joined today by the President of Quality Living Options Bendigo Noela Foreman, to call out the Government’s lack of commitment and funding to help those living with disability.
“We have a Liberal Government who has completely mismanaged the transition to the NDIS as new reports reveal one in five people who have taken part in the scheme feel they are worse off now than they were before taking part in the program.
“This clear inability to implement a program that was intended to protect and help our most vulnerable in the community is now doing the complete opposite and damaging the quality of care Central Victorians are receiving.
“Noela Foreman, the President of Quality Living Options Bendigo, is from a group of concerned older carers who are worried the program will fail their children when they become unable to no longer care for them.
“The group has highlighted a list of damaging holes in the NDIS rollout that include failure to receive proper advice, drastic reduction in funding after the first year, lack of staff to handle enquiries, incorrect assessments leading to loss of funding and a clear breakdown of support to care for their children,’ said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters has also condemned the Liberals decision to outsource vital NDIS services to Serco.
“The decision by the Liberal Government to outsource the NDIS call centres is a mistake and should be reversed, they have no prior experience working in the disability sector and are not properly equipped to handle the vast and complex enquiries that these call centres receive.
“NDIS call centres are specialised, they require properly trained staff. People with disability and their families want a people-centred NDIS, not a commercial call centre. This decision will only make things worse.
“We know that there are problems with the NDIS being able to deliver high quality services to Central Victorians with a disability,” said Ms Chesters.
According to a recent report published by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales the NDIS pricing system does not cover the full costs of disability support.
“This report confirms that inadequate pricing structures of the NDIS do not allow for employment conditions that will attract and retain the necessary NDIS workforce. More than that, without quality jobs NDIS participants will not receive the quality supports they deserve.
“The Federal Liberal Government must listen to Central Victorians with a disability and their families. They must act immediately to address their workforce concerns,” said Ms Chesters.