Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O’Rourke

The Turnbull Government must guarantee Queenslanders with disability the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will not be watered down following a Productivity Commission review announced today.

Queensland Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said Malcolm Turnbull needed to stand by the agreement he had signed with Queensland to deliver the NDIS in its current form.

“At a state level, the Newman-Nicholls Government were pulled kicking and screaming to deliver Labor’s NDIS, and I’m concerned their Federal colleagues are now trying to back away from their commitment,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Based on the Turnbull Government’s recent record on cutting pensions and Medicare, I’m worried this is their next attack on vulnerable Queenslanders.

“In North Queensland where the NDIS is rolling out, we are already seeing the life changing impact it is having on local people with disability and their families.

“Once fully rolled out in mid-2019, the NDIS will support more than 90,000 Queenslanders with disability and create up to 19,000 new jobs in the state’s disability sector.

“As with any major reform, there have been some issues during the transition period, and we understand there is opportunity to look at improvements to the scheme.

“Under the Heads of Agreement, the Productivity Commission review was supposed to report by the end of this year, which would be halfway through the full rollout of the NDIS.

“By bringing it forward, I’m concerned it is still too early into the transition in Queensland to provide meaningful information for the review, and this is simply an excuse to change the intent of the NDIS by the Turnbull Government.  

“But I would like to make it very clear that we as a Government in no way, shape, or form, support any changes to the fundamental purpose of the NDIS.

“The NDIS is a vital reform for people with disability, giving them the choice and control to live the life they choose, and that is something that can’t be taken away from the thousands of Queenslanders who will enter the scheme.

“The Turnbull Government needs to honour their commitment, and should be putting people with disability first.

“It’s simply not good enough and I have written to Social Services Minister Christian Porter to stress that the true intent of the NDIS cannot compromised.

“There is no way we will dash the hopes of people with disability to live the life they choose.

“Queenslanders with disability can be assured that I will not stop fighting to ensure they can have all of the life changing benefits the NDIS will bring.”

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