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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14193

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (10:24): Colleagues, in my statement today, I want to draw attention to the rollout of the NDIS in Indi. I want to highlight some of the problems constituents are dealing with, and I want to put a call out to my community to come to the second NDIS community information forum, which will be held in Benalla on 28 March. Finally, colleagues, I'd like to let you know that I'm not standing for election in May, but I'm encouraging my supporters to back Helen Haines, who has a huge commitment to health and wellbeing. I know she will continue to carry the flag of better service delivery for people with disabilities in our electorate.

Constantly we get constituents coming to my office and writing letters about problems with the NDIS. While it's a great scheme and it has huge potential, it's not reaching its potential at the moment. To address that, in August last year we worked with the NDIA to hold two community forums, one in Wangaratta and one in Wodonga. These were really well attended. I thank the NDIA for their presence. But there were a number of issues that weren't addressed at the time, and the NDIA said they would come back in six months and report back to the community on what they had achieved. That meeting will be in Benalla on Thursday, 28 March, parliament commitments being willing.

I wanted to bring to the House some of the main problems we're experiencing with the NDIS. As a result, we put some questions in writing to the minister: 'In respect of the NDIS, what is the nominated time frame of a plan?' The minister wrote back to me telling me the NDIA does not currently have nominated time frames between plan submission for approval and plan approval. Why don't we have time frames? Why don't we have KPIs? It seems a very straightforward thing to do that would help in the planning of it. So here's a call out to the minister to address that.

Another question we asked was, 'Why do clients receive final plans that are inadequate and have to wait for up to a year or more to have their plans revised?' The NDIA tell us that they've received more work than they can handle on this. They haven't got enough staff to address it. So here's a call out for more staff, to do what needs to be done so we can actually get this program working.

In closing, I want to thank the individuals, the families, the advocates and the service providers who have given such support to the rollout in rural and regional Australia. I say to them: come to the community forum on the 28th and we will do the next stage of delivery. We'll have experts there, we'll have community providers there, we'll have families there and we'll have individuals there who are experiencing the problems, and then we will make a commitment to get the plan ready for after the election. What do we need to do so that the NDIS can really reach its potential?