19 October 2020
The NDIS was designed to support people living with disability and improve their quality of life. But just last week I have learned of the latest way it is letting people down. The so-called concierge model of supported disability accommodation is sold as being available quickly to a number of dwellings inside the one building. In fact it is leaving higher-needs NDIS participants out just as they thought they could move into a new home that they had waited for years to be built.
Matthew is a 40-year-old with quadriplegia who lives in The Entrance in my electorate. In September 2019 he applied for supported disability accommodation, which was approved finally in January this year. After repeated follow-up with the NDIA by his mother, Christine, the supported independent living package to go with his housing was approved on 25 September. The funding was to be in his plan within 48 hours. It never arrived. Matt was told he could move into his new home on 12 October. He was ready. He had sold his furniture, packed up his old house and had the phone and power connected at what was to be his new home. Then came the news about the concierge model, which can't meet Matt's needs. He was devastated. Matt said that after hearing the news he thought about throwing his bus pass into the lake and catching a one-way ride into the CBD, because he was sick of being a burden on his own family.
Matt deserves better. The minister must come clean about the secret trial which is leaving people with disability out in the cold. This government, which ripped $4.6 billion out of the NDIS, is still trying to slash funds and squeeze plans at the expense of Australians living with disability.