Lo­cal MP slams govern­ment over re­gional roll­out of NDIS

McIvor Times - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Bendigo Lisa Ch­esters has said there are com­mu­nity con­cerns in cen­tral Vic­to­ria about the fed­eral govern­ment’s tran­si­tion to the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme (NDIS).

Ms Ch­esters was joined by the pres­i­dent of Qual­ity Liv­ing Op­tions Bendigo Noela Fore­man.

“We have a Lib­eral govern­ment that 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,” Ms Ch­esters said.

“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 is from a group of con­cerned older car­ers who are wor­ried the pro­gram will fail their chil­dren when they be­come un­able to care for them.

“The group has high­lighted a list of dam­ag­ing holes in the NDIS roll­out that in­cludes 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.”

Ms Ch­esters also con­demned the Lib­er­als’ de­ci­sion to out­source vi­tal NDIS ser­vices to Serco.

“The de­ci­sion by the 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,” Ms Ch­esters said.

“NDIS call cen­tres are spe­cialised, they re­quire prop­erly trained staff. Peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties 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.”

One in five peo­ple who have taken part in the scheme feel they are worse off than they were be­fore tak­ing part in the pro­gram — Lisa Ch­esters

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