Politics with Michelle Grattan: Bill Shorten on making the NDIS fit for purpose


Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services, has released the review of the NDIS, which recommends sweeping changes to the scheme. The reforms to come will see the states take up much of the responsibility for providing services for people with more minor issues, especially children with developmental delays.

Shorten joined the podcast to talk about the way ahead for a scheme that has run off the rails and become financially unsustainable.

At the centre of the changes is that:

We want to make sure that it’s not just diagnosis which puts you in the scheme – that we look at your disability and then we look at how it affects your daily living and see if the scheme is the right thing to assist you.

But Shorten is quick to reassure that everyone who needs it will be cared for. He points out that disability is universal, in the sense that

You can get it at birth, you can get it through the DNA lottery code you have. Or in the blink of an eye, you know, in a swimming injury or on a country road. So it’s a universal challenge and people shouldn’t be written off because they have an impairment. So it’s on all of us to improve the game.

When pressed on whether the reforms will bring losers, Shorten homes on those doing the wrong thing:

Some of the bad businesses are going to be losers. Some of the people who are not value adding the system, they’re going to be losers. But going to participants, this system will mean that if you need support, that’s what you’re going to get.



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