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No place for shonks: Minister's blunt warning amid efforts to relaunch NDIS


Care providers in the NDIS putting profits over people with disabilities have been put on notice following a landmark review of the scheme.

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NDIS Minister Bill Shorten has issued a warning to “shonky” providers that a crackdown is looming .

The message came following the release of an independent review of the NDIS, which called for 26 recommendations on how the scheme for people with disabilities could be improved.

The review found many participants felt the need to put forward the worst version of themselves to get support, with there being an over-reliance on disability support from the government.

Mr Shorten said while the vast majority of NDIS providers were excellent, there were many unregistered within the scheme.

“We also send a very clear message to the minority of shonky providers that the good old days of under-servicing and overcharging and looking after yourself, not the people, will come to an end,” he told ABC TV on Friday.

“A whole world of unregistered providers has developed, and many of them are good … but some of them are just providing rubbish services, overcharging, treating people on the scheme as human ATMs, and we want to stop that”

The report also urged an emphasis on “foundational support” for the 2.5 million Australians with a disability, but who may not meet the criteria for the NDIS.

It also recommended a list of diagnoses that would guarantee access to the NDIS be scrapped within five years.

Mr Shorten reassured parents whose children were on the scheme they would remain as part of the NDIS if they were already on it.

“We’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with the states and the Commonwealth itself is accepting that we need to do more to provide services for people with disabilities which aren’t so profound and severe they need to be on the NDIS but they still deserve early intervention,” he said.

“We can really help a lot of kids with development delay do better, but the short message is if your child really needs the NDIS, it’s going to stay that way for them.”

Former Paralympian and chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency board Kurt Fearnley said there had begun to be a tapering of the long-term costs involved in the scheme.

The federal government has aimed to limit growth in spending on the NDIS to eight per cent per year.

Mr Fearnley said the review’s findings contained more than just cost saving measures, but would allow for the support systems to work better for people with disabilities

“If we have children getting the supports that they need in the community in which they live, and they don’t require entry to the NDIS I would have thought that would have been a good thing,” he told ABC Radio.

“This report doesn’t immediately change the experience of any person within the scheme.”

The NDIS review set out a five-year roadmap for implementing its recommendations, and Mr Fearnley said any substantial change to the scheme would take time.

“This is a long-term change, this isn’t change right now, we don’t get a report and can immediately say it’s all fixed now,” he said,.

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