Opinion | 12 February 2024

We won’t let the NDIS review take away our right to choose – An open letter to Bill Shorten


Man sitting in wheelchair in hospital hall looking dejected with a sign for NDIS Review further down the hallway.

Douglas used AI technologyto generate the photo above

Douglas Fogg is a NDIS participant with a passion for making technology inclusive and accessible.

Dear Minister Shorten,

I hope this email finds you well. It is with a sense of duty to my community and fellow Australians living with disabilities that I voice my profound concerns regarding the recent NDIS Review recommendations.

NDIS funding is a rightful entitlement, supported by my significant tax contributions 35% of my hard-earned income. It enables me, like many others, to live with dignity and autonomy, reflecting our contributions to this country. However, the Review’s push towards mandating the use of registered or “enrolled” providers for all supports starkly undermines this autonomy, directly challenging the foundational NDIS principles of choice and control. The proposed stratification into four levels of provider registration not only threatens to limit our freedom in choosing support but also risks reintroducing a group home model under the guise of cost efficiency. This move is particularly disheartening.

I am fortunate to live with my family, who form my primary support structure, and the thought of being coerced into a less personalised, potentially group-based care model is alarming. It underscores a regression to outdated, institutionalised care approaches that we have long fought to move away from. The disability community and I are not against regulation or oversight. However, we demand that such measures genuinely serve to enhance our lives without stripping away our rights to make personal decisions about our care. The advocacy and opposition voiced in recent meetings are a testament to the widespread concern over these recommendations. They highlight a critical need for a re-evaluation of proposed changes that threaten to dilute the empowerment and choice that the NDIS was designed to offer.

Minister, I urge you to reconsider the implications of these recommendations. The NDIS’ promise was to empower us to make choices about our lives, to live independently and with dignity. It is imperative that this promise not only remains intact but is bolstered by policies that reflect the true needs and aspirations of Australians living with disabilities.

Update 12 February 2024 – Minister Shorten has announced a taskforce to provide expert advice to Government on the best approach to overhaul the current registration system for those who deliver supports while, crucially, maintaining choice and control for participants.

Read more here in Minister Shorten’s press release

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