Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Contrary to Labor scaremongering, the Coalition has no plans to privatise or unwind the NDIS.

The Coalition will deliver the NDIS.

The Coalition has enthusiastically supported the NDIS at every step.

We supported the work of the Productivity Commission and its final report, we supported the NDIS legislation, we supported the launch sites and we supported the NDIS Medicare levy increase.

The Coalition will deliver the announced spending on the NDIS and we will honour the agreements for full roll out that are in place between the Commonwealth and the states and territories.

The heart of the NDIS is choice for individuals. The Productivity Commission vision, being rolled out in launch sites, is contestability between service providers through the exercise of an NDIS participant’s choice.

New service providers are emerging and it may well be that Medibank Private chooses to offer services in this market. That is a matter for them.

Separate to this, there may be some administrative functions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that the NDIA Board may determine in the future, in the light of launch site experience, could be contracted out through a competitive process. Businesses and not-for-profits could tender for such business if it was offered.

The Commission of Audit will doubtless look at all areas of government activity to see that taxpayers get maximum value for each of their dollars. The Coalition has said it will deliver the announced NDIS spending, but all Commonwealth departments and agencies should be open to advice on best administrative practice to ensure services are delivered efficiently and well.

It is unfortunate that Labor is not following the Coalition’s example in Opposition of elevating the NDIS beyond partisanship.

Australians with disability and their families do not want petty partisan point scoring on the NDIS or to be deliberately misled by false statements that seek political benefit.

The Coalition will establish a bipartisan Joint Parliamentary Committee to oversee the implementation of the NDIS. Labor in government consistently opposed the establishment of this committee for more than a year, only relenting on the eve of the election. The Committee should serve as a symbol that the NDIS is above politics and a venture of the Parliament as a whole.