A Better Future for the NDIS

In brief

  • The NDIS is Australia’s disability safety net – a great Labor idea like Medicare and Superannuation – that has been damaged by a decade of Liberal cuts, mismanagement and chaos.

  • An Albanese Labor Government will protect the NDIS and get it back on track, so it works for people with disability and their families, carers, disability service providers and workers.

  • Importantly, Labor will stop the unfair cuts to NDIS participants’ plans with an expert review mechanism.

Why do we need this?

The Morrison Government is slashing plans by up to 90 per cent leaving people with disability without the supports they need for daily life and cutting funding for autistic children, stopping them from accessing the scheme.

In some cases, families have been forced to relinquish their children because they can’t get the support they need to care for them at home.

For a decade this Government has botched the rollout of the NDIS to all States and Territories with seven ministers appointed in eight years.

Tragically the Morrison Government’s mismanagement has seen at least five people on the NDIS die, including Adelaide woman, Anne Marie Smith.

At the same time the Government has admitted up to 10 per cent of the scheme is being lost to fraudulent service providers, while other areas of the NDIS market struggle with unworkable pricing models.

There is a shortage of 83,000 workers in the sector, and almost one-third say they want to leave their job within the next 12 months.

In response to the Morrison Government’s mismanagement of the scheme, there’s been a 400 per cent increase in appeals of NDIS decisions to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).  The NDIA has wasted $28 million in just six months on legal fees to fight people with disability appealing for support at the AAT.

The details

Stop the cuts to NDIS plans

The Morrison Government’s unfair cuts to NDIS packages of up to 90 per cent are leaving participants and their families without the support they need and driving increased numbers of appeals.

Sometimes plan budgets will decrease, but if there is no reason for a substantial cut to a plan, a participant may be much worse off.

Labor will act urgently to stop the Morrison Government’s unfair cuts to NDIS plans by introducing an Expert Review that will guarantee plans are not being unfairly reduced.

The Expert Review will be an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that flags any decision to reduce a plan by more than 20% per year, allowing it to be referred to an expert reviewer with supporting evidence.

Labor’s alternative process would address the rising number of AAT appeals and millions spent on external lawyers by the Morrison Government.  

A Better Future for the NDIS

An Albanese Labor Government will ensure a better future for the NDIS through our commitment to:

  • Put people with disability back at the centre of the NDIS. Labor will identify and solve the problems with the design and operation of the scheme, ensuring solutions are evidence based and are codesigned with people with disability, their families and carers, and service providers and workers.

  • Make all proposed changes to the scheme transparent to rebuild trust between the NDIS and the people who rely on it for support.

  • Publish data so the scheme can be properly monitored, evaluated, and interrogated. We will identify gaps in the current evidence base and gather more information, data and research.

  • Increase the number of people with disability on the NDIA executive and board so that the voice and experience of participants is returned to the scheme.

  • Share governance with people with disability and their families and State and Territory Governments, and ensure the scheme is working with mainstream services.

  • Stop waste in the system by lifting the NDIA staffing cap, reducing service provider fraud, and spending on external lawyers and consultants.

  • Fix the planning pathway and appeals to make NDIS decision-making more efficient, fair, and investment focused.

  • Strengthen the disability services sector with a review of NDIS pricing, markets and compliance, and develop a comprehensive NDIS workforce strategy.

  • Appoint a senior officer within the NDIA to tackle the barriers to service delivery in remote areas of Australia and other areas.

  • Pause the current changes to Supported Independent Living (SIL) that are being progressed by the Morrison Government without proper consultation.

  • Investigate the $500 million Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) underspend to ensure people with disability can access appropriate housing.

  • Investigate the NDIA Call Centre operation so participants and their families get the best possible service.

To ensure that the Scheme can get back on the right track, Labor will review NDIS design, operation and sustainability. We will bring forward a planned review of the scheme and consult on terms of reference that will consider all available evidence and look at benefits as well as problems inside and outside the NDIS. The review findings will guide an Albanese Labor Government on priority areas for reform.