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Greens use Senate Estimates to bust the Premier’s NDIS myths

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today’s Senate Estimates have exposed the reality behind some myths being used against the rollout of DisabilityCare in WA.

“A number of the myths being used by Colin Barnett and his ministerial colleagues to undermine the NDIS in WA have been debunked,” Senator Siewert said today.

“It was clear from today’s Senate Estimates hearings with the Department of FaHCSIA that people currently receiving disability support services in WA will not go backwards under DisabilityCare. 

“The Department reiterated the fact that one of the core principles underpinning this scheme is that people will not lose what they already have. People in WA already receiving support will not lose it.

“It was confirmed that these principles were discussed at COAG, and that WA was a part of the discussion. There can be no confusion here about the continuity of care, and the Premier knows it.

“Another myth that was resolved today regards the decision making process established under the NDIS. The Premier cannot scaremonger about personal decisions being made in Canberra, when in fact the Department confirmed that decisions about a person’s care would be made at the local level. This is a pillar of the NDIS.

“Decisions about a person’s care will be made by their local planner, and in some specific circumstances, their planner may seek additional support from their region manager.  But despite the Premier’s claims, decisions about the care a person in WA with disability receives will be made in WA.

“Estimates also highlighted the most obvious issue around the operation of disability services in WA, in regards to accessibility for people who need support.

“WA’s system is rationed – there are waiting lists that inevitably lead to people missing out. This is what contributes to the existing levels of unmet need that we know exists in the state.

“Under DisabilityCare, this will change, and people will be provided with the care and support they need on the basis of their needs, not their position on a waiting list.

“The Department said today that discussions with WA are continuing. Despite the Premier’s protestations about the NDIS, there is clearly strong need and strong support for the scheme in WA,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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