Member for Blair Shayne Neumann alongside NDIS recipient Christine and Shadow Minister NDIS Bill Shorten during a visit to Alara on Monday.
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann alongside NDIS recipient Christine and Shadow Minister NDIS Bill Shorten during a visit to Alara on Monday.

‘Overworked’ NDIS carer’s plea for better support

EXHAUSTED carers within the National Disability Insurance Scheme are overworked and have little time to tend to their own needs.

The admissions came to light on Monday during NDIS Shadow Minister Bill Shorten’s visit to an Ipswich disability provider.

Joined by Member for Blair Shayne Neumann, the pair heard from staff at the Alara facility in hopes of gaining better insight into how ordinary Ipswich residents relate to the scheme.

Unfortunately, not all appeared merry as frustrated workers detailed their daily stressors.

Reported funding cuts under the Liberal National Party, and subsequent under-resourcing, proved the most pertinent.

Alara currently serves 800 disabled people and employs only 260 workers in response.

NDIS carers are asking for better support to help cope with demanding workloads.
NDIS carers are asking for better support to help cope with demanding workloads.

Mr Shorten said he hoped the visit would encourage further improvements to working conditions.

“The NDIS is arguably the biggest social welfare revolution in the 21st century, but we can’t take for granted that it will always be here,” he said.

“Since Labor created it in 2010 to 2013, what we’re becoming concerned about is that while it’s doing a lot of good, it’s now losing its way.”

The LNP’s proposed changes to its identification system could also force an estimated 42,000 recipients to have their eligibility scrutinised through Independent Assessments.

The LNP had disputed Labor’s claim of funding cuts and also says Independent Assessments will ensure fairness and consistency across the NDIS.

Mr Shorten said the assessments were costly and “disrespectful”.

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Shadow Minister NDIS Bill Shorten and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann meet recipient Angela.
Shadow Minister NDIS Bill Shorten and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann meet recipient Angela.

“That’s going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s highly disrespectful to people who are going to be in wheelchairs their whole life,” Mr Shorten said.

“Autism doesn’t come and go depending on the season, it’s causing a lot of pain and anxiety and we want to make sure we stand alongside people with disability and their carers to defend the NDIS against the LNP cuts.”

The new process comes after it was revealed last year LNP had under-delivered on funds to the sector by $4.6 billion.

Additional staff were among some of the suggestions put forward.

[Carers] don’t put their hands out for anything, but I think the system should recognise that for a couple hours people have to go to the shops or attend to their own life maintenance.”

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Minister Government Services Stuart Robert says there has been no funding cuts to the scheme. Pic: Gary Ramage
Minister Government Services Stuart Robert says there has been no funding cuts to the scheme. Pic: Gary Ramage

“Perhaps we could provide some fill-in support for those scarce hours, so the carer doesn’t fall over as well.”

Minister Government Services Stuart Robert said in response there had been no funding cuts to the NDIS.

“The Morrison Government allocated a further $3.9 billion to the NDIS across the forward estimates, in addition to the forecast annual expenditure of $23 billion,” he said.

Minister Robert said Independent Assessments would ensure a fair and consistent way to ensure new and existing recipients obtained the appropriate level of support.

“I want kids in Ipswich to have the same access to the NDIS as someone in Bondi and that is why Independent Assessments are so important,” he said.



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