The disability community says trust in the federal government has been “destroyed” by scrapped controversial plans for independent assessments for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds announced on Friday the government had agreed not to make any legislative changes to the scheme, committing to consult on any future amendments.
The reforms would have seen NDIS participants and would-be participants assessed by a government-contracted allied health professional – rather than their own treating specialists with whom they already have a relationship – to help determine the support they receive.
Concerns had been raised about a lack of genuine government consultation and transparency, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model being culturally inappropriate, and the reforms undermining the principles of choice and control that the NDIS was built on.
People with Disability Australia said it was a “massive” reversal by the government and a “significant strategic win” for the disability community.
But President Samantha Connor said the fight was not over, especially over algorithms that would determine funding.
She said the relationship between the community and government had been damaged, but was not irreparable.
“That sacred compact of trust between the community and government – that’s been somewhat destroyed. We don’t trust the government right now,” Ms Connor told SBS News.
“That’s going to take some rebuilding – the disability community have set down the terms of engagement for that process to sit down and have a conversation. And I hope government is prepared to listen.”