Senate Inquiry into "Dangerous and Risky" NDIS Cuts and Changes


Today, Tuesday 21st May 2024, the Australian Senate will commence its inquiry into Labor’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill 2024. 

Senator Steele-John, the Australian Greens spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services, and the only physically disabled person in the Australian Senate, will attend both days of the Senate inquiry.

The Bill proposed the most significant changes to the NDIS since it commenced over a decade ago.

Submissions to the inquiry have implored Senators to not pass the bill in its current form. 

Those giving evidence on the first day of the inquiry include disabled people, their representative advocacy organisations, and those involved in the NDIS Review. 

The legislation was developed behind closed doors with representatives from disability organisations required to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

Lines attributable to Senator Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services. 

“As the only physically disabled person in the Senate, I feel a great obligation to our disability community when it comes to this Senate Inquiry. 

“The changes proposed by Labor are the end of the NDIS as we know it. 

“The message from the community is clear, Labor should not cut the NDIS and this draft NDIS legislation should not pass in its current form. 

“The Labor government has failed to get the policy settings right. Labor has made the political decision to balance its budget off the back of disabled people; cutting $14.4 billion from the NDIS just last week.

“As it is drafted, Labor’s proposed changes to the NDIS will make life more difficult for disabled people, our families and the thousands of people who are employed within the NDIS. 

“This bill will enable the agency to make significant changes to the scheme without community consultation. So much for nothing about us, without us.

The reality is that right now the NDIS is ‘the only lifeboat in the ocean.’ Removing participants from the scheme to systems that don’t exist, is outrageously poor planning with obviously harmful consequences. This proves the government is more concerned about cutting costs than improving the NDIS for disabled people. 

“I believe Australians want to ensure disabled people are supported to live fulfilling and productive lives. If the government were proposing cuts and changes to Medicare at the scale they are proposing them for the NDIS there would be a revolt. 

“These changes will see every single NDIS participant’s plan thrown up in the air with deep uncertainty about where the chips will fall because the bill will remove power from the hands of disabled people, putting it squarely back in the grasp of politicians and government bureaucrats.”