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December 02, 2019

 Given tomorrow is the International Day of People with Disability, I wish to raise with the Chamber matters concerning the NDIS. Time and again I am contacted by constituents and service providers alike who not only have faced issues in gaining access to the NDIS but also, once they gain access, have had their plans inexplicably cut upon review—sometimes by as much as 50 per cent. Far too often my constituents' packages are slashed when it comes time for their annual review in spite of increasing needs. Macarthur residents are then made to jump over bureaucratic hurdles to navigate a complex appeals process.

I'm more than happy to help escalate these matters; however, my point is this: my constituents should not be made to go through this hassle and turmoil in the first place. They should not have to contact their federal representative because an appeal is taking too long and to get their packages or those of their dependants restored to appropriate levels. It is unfair and unjust. My constituents have needs that require long-term planning and long-term funding. The reason that they are having difficulty, I believe, is that the Morrison government are presiding over a $1.6 billion underspend in the NDIS, and the way that they are funding their surplus by slashing the NDIS packages is very unfair.

I must stress that the National Disability Insurance Scheme was a life-changing initiative for many when it was first created by the former Labor government. The scheme itself provides invaluable support to many in my community. I support this scheme wholeheartedly, but it's not operating to its full potential because of systemic issues. (Time expired)