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Newly appointed Minister for the NDIS and Government Services Linda Reynolds has been urged by disability advocates and organisations, including IDEAS, to abandon the introduction of Independent Assessments. 

The Australian disability sector holds significant concerns about the Federal Government’s planned changes to how people with disability will access the NDIS and, most importantly, how they will receive support. A Joint Statement, co-signed by IDEAS can be found on the Every Australia Counts website

An excerpt is as follows:

The introduction of mandatory assessments is the biggest change to the NDIS since it began. Despite the scale and cost of the changes, they have not been rigorously tested or undergone an independent evaluation. Consultation has been rushed and the questions and concerns of people with disability, their families and the organisations that support and represent them have not been addressed.

Based on the information released by the NDIA, we are concerned that a desire to cut costs is the main motivation for the hurried introduction of these reforms.

We want the NDIS to succeed. But we cannot support legislative or operational changes which we believe undermine the intent of the scheme. And may leave people with disability without the support they need.

You can download the full Joint Statement in PDF, a text-only Word Document, Plain English and Easy Read formats. 

This is further to IDEAS submission to APH Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS – Independent Assessments which we made last month. 

Meanwhile, the Tune review's independence has been called in to doubt. Emails and draft copies of the 2019 report, written by former senior public servant David Tune, show National Disability Insurance Agency officials inserted an entire chapter into the review of the scheme’s legislation, and made substantial changes to almost every part of the document.

David Tune's 2019 report is the basis for prospective changes to the NDIS, including the introduction of Independent Assessments. Previously, over 300 pages of draft legislative changes, which would see people with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) shut out of the scheme and the option for participants to appeal decisions about their service and support packages to be limited.

As Minister Reynolds transitions to her new role as Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, disability organisations and advocates are hoping she takes the time and consideration to hear the feedback from the sector and community and to act accordingly with compassion and in keeping the Australian Government's commitment to ratify the UNCRPD

Media Coverage

SBS - Disability advocates urge Linda Reynolds to scrap NDIS independent assessments
SMH - Secret documents show department inserted chapter into NDIS review
SMH - Leaked laws reveal plan to kick Australians off the $22 billion NDIS
Guardian - NDIS cost-cutting taskforce told to reduce growth in participants and spending

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