Australian Coat of Arms

Member for Blaxland

Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment

Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia 

NDIS cuts to Kids - Thursday, 01 March 2018

** FEDERATION CHAMBER **

-Check Against Delivery-

Two weeks ago I spoke about a little girl in my electorate named Georgia who has autism, epilepsy and profound global development delay.

Georgia can’t dress herself or brush her teeth or comb her hair. She can’t shower on her own. She has to wear a nappy 24 hours a day and a onesie – otherwise she will put her hands in her nappy and smear faeces around the house. Georgia can’t speak either. She's the sort of little girl that we set up the NDIS to help.

Last month she had her NDIS funding cut by 70 percent.

After I made this speech I am glad to say that the NDIA contacted my office and they promised to review the decision.

And on Friday they contacted Georgia’s mum and advised her that they have reinstated some of Georgia’s funding. Not all of it. But most of it. Not enough, but it's a good start.

But Georgia’s is not an isolated case.

Since I told her story a fortnight ago other families - other local families have contacted have my office and told me they've had the same experience.

All have had their funding cut, all in the last month, all by the Bankstown NDIS Office.

Here’s one example. This is Yasemin. She is 28 years old and lives in Yagoona with her mum and dad. She has Down Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is an elective mute. Last month she had her funding cut by 56 percent. No reason. No explanation.

Here’s another example. Kirsten is 21. She lives in Chester Hill and she is looked after by her grandmother. She has Cerebral Palsy, Cortical Vision Impairment and an intellectual impairment. On the 30th of January her funding was cut by 50 percent.

Here’s another one. Andre is 10. He is from Bass Hill. He has Autism and ADHD and an intellectual disability. On the first of February his funding was cut by 51 percent.

I’ve got another case here. The family don’t want their name mentioned. But it’s the same story. Except in this case the cut funding has been cut by 65 per cent.

And I've got other cases that tell the same story. The same problem. Bankstown NDIS' office.

There is something very wrong happening here.

Parents are telling me they are not being listened to by NDIS staff.

They haven’t been given a reason for these cuts.

Sometimes they are getting plans back that have details in the plan that are relevant to another child. Not their own.

The impact of all of this is a lot of stressed parents, disabled kids not getting the services they need and in some cases parents telling me they're thinking they have to cut back on work or give up work altogether.

It's a mess. I call on the Government and the NDIA to please investigate these cases and fix them, just like they did with Georgia. And please have a serious look at what is happening at the Bankstown NDIS Office.