Australian Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert claimed that no one died waiting for the NDIS, despite the agency revealing 1,279 deaths. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a scheme by the Australian government which supports thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability along with their families and careers.
The National Disability Insurance Agency told the senate that between 2016 and 2019, 1,279 people have died in between submitting an access request and receiving support under the NDIS. However, Robert while speaking to international media denied the claims and said that the figures were not even remotely correct and that no one had passed away waiting for NDIS. He further said that those people who died were getting constant help from the government as they transitioned to NDIS.
On Wednesday, the Australian PM Scott Morrisson at a press conference said that he agrees that the figures are true, adding that the government is constantly trying to reduce the numbers. He also said that the figures presented by the agency were "Unacceptable.”
While talking to reporters from international media, a spokesman to Robert said that the minister was referring to the fact that the NDIS was designed to ensure that people with disability transitioning to the new Scheme from state or Commonwealth programs over the last three years continued to receive their existing disability-related support until participants received an approved NDIS plan. He added that the Minister does not dispute the figures his own agency has provided but he disputes how they were framed by the media.
On Sunday, Morrison established a National Bushfire Recovery Agency to co-ordinate recovery efforts ranging from rebuilding infrastructure to providing mental health support even as authorities struggled to tackle the raging bushfire crisis which has so far claimed the lives of 24 people. The agency, headed by former federal police chief Andrew Colvin, will help bushfire affected communities recover, media reports said. Morrison, who is facing widespread criticism in Australia for his handling of the crisis, said: "This organisation will be stood up for at least two years."
(with inputs from agencies)