By Fiona Bridger, Researcher and Writer, Achieve Australia
As a follow up to my blog prior to the Federal Election I wanted to share my hopes for the future now that Labor has formed a majority government. I believe people voted for Labor, the Greens and independents because they didn’t want to have another three years of the Liberal Party in government.
They didn’t want women’s rights denied, refugees refused, the LGBTQI community discriminated against and the NDIS destroyed. With this win the NDIS is saved for the next three years as Labor has been elected!
In a major policy announcement regarding the NDIS, Labor vowed to review and "restore trust" in the scheme if they won the election.
Under the Albanese Government, the hope is that the NDIS will be properly funded. People with disabilities already on the scheme will be able to live with the security of knowing that the scheme will continue, and people not yet on the scheme have a greater chance of being eligible, which will enable them to live their lives fully.
Since the election I've heard that Labor plans on working with the NDIS as well as disability advocates to increase individual advocacy during the process. Labor is committed to ensuring that no Australian with a disability is left behind. By getting the NDIS working properly it will impact 4.4 million Australians living with a disability. Labor has promised people with disability equal opportunities for things such as employment and access to the community. Additionally, the Labor government will increase the funding for advocacy by $10 million.
The hope is that under the new government, planners will give the participant what they need in their plan in the first place, rather than taking them to court. For people with disabilities who don't have families or support teams behind them, the NDIS is a nightmare. There can be a huge amount of red tape to access funding and when people do receive their funding it can be difficult to work out what is in their plan and how the funding can be allocated.
The new Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Government Services, Bill Shorten has been critical about the number of people’s packages that have been cut due to changes in spending on planners and leadership. Minister Shorten promised the NDIS would hire an additional 380 staff and crack down on rorting providers. He said there'd be an overhaul of the appeals process to reduce delays. Appeals rose 400% in the 6 months to January 2022.”
The NDIS means a lot to me as it enables me to have choice and control over my life. It gives me freedom and independence. It means I can go away on holidays like everyone else because I have funding for a support worker. It means I can go to work which allows me to be an active member of society and part of my community. It means that I don’t need a family member to take me to my appointments, or out for dinners and I don’t need my mum hanging around when I catch up with friends.
I’m very lucky that my experience with the NDIS has been a good one, I think this is because I am very organised and I am blessed to have a lot of support.
I was excited to hear that the Labor government is prioritising assisting people with disabilities with independent living. I am currently looking for accommodation that is accessible and it’s a long process. My support coordinator is assisting me to look for apartments with access to a garden however she has to stop for the time being as I’m running out of funding. But I’m not in any rush to move out of home because as much as it means freedom, it’s also terrifying. I look forward to the days when I’m independent.
The Labor government plans on funding people with a disability seeking appropriate housing and establishing employment. They also plan on developing a national autism strategy. Under Labor Government, people with disabilities will be able to live a fulfilled and supported life. They will have choice and control over their lives once more.