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representatives vote 2017-06-21#8

Edited by mackay staff

on 2017-07-02 03:45:06


  • Bills — National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Bill 2017; Second Reading
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Royal Commission into Violence and Abuse against People with Disability


  • <p class="speaker">Mark Coulton</p>
  • <p>The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Jagajaga has moved as an amendment that all words after &#8216;That&#8217; be omitted with a view to substituting other words. If it suits the House I will state the question in the form that the amendment be agreed to. So the question now is that the amendment be agreed to.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Andrew Wallace</p>
  • The majority voted against a [motion]( introduced by Labor MP for Jagajaga [Jenny Macklin](, which means the motion failed. The motion didn't change the [bill](;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r5898) in any way but instead asked for the Government to establish a Royal Commission into Violence and Abuse against People with Disability.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:*
  • > *"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:*
  • > *(1) notes that people with disability experience much higher rates of violence than the rest of the community, and in many cases, this violence occurs in places where they are meant to be receiving support;*
  • > *(2) notes that children with disability are at least three times more likely to experience abuse than other children;*
  • > *(3) condemns the Government's decision to reject a Royal Commission into Violence and Abuse against People with disability;*
  • > *(4) notes that, contrary to the Government's claims, NDIS Quality and Safeguards will not negate the need for a Royal Commission into abuse of people with disability; and*
  • > *(5) calls on the Turnbull Government to establish a Royal Commission so that people with disability, their families and carers can tell their stories to the highest level of judicial inquiry and seek justice".*
  • <p>Prior to question time, I was informing the House about what a huge undertaking the NDIS is and how fully committed the government is to ensure its rollout&#8212;but not just its rollout; its properly funded rollout. The implementation of the NDIS is not just going to provide world-leading opportunities for the disabled to be able to gain various forms of assistance but it is also going to be a great boon for small businesses and small service providers.</p>
  • <p>As at March this year, there are 6,814 registered service providers that will be providing these services&#8212;and that number will clearly grow as the rollout continues. There will be 100,000 people who will be involved and be capable of receiving NDIS services who have never received disability services before. That is a fantastic outcome. In Queensland alone, there will be a necessary increase in the number of workers in the disability sector, from approximately 16,550 full-time equivalent positions to 35,950 by full rollout. That is nearly 40,000 people just in Queensland who will be directly employed as a result of the implementation of the NDIS.</p>
  • <p>Apart from having personal experience in this sector, I am also privileged to serve in this parliament on the NDIS committee. On that committee I have seen firsthand just how challenging the NDIS rollout has been and how much more it could become. That is why the coalition government is undertaking a considered approach to policymaking around the NDIS. To date, the Turnbull government has reached agreements for the full rollout of the NDIS with all states and territories. In Western Australia, we listened, and the federal government extended trials for a further year before coming to a final agreement with that state. The government's chairing of the COAG Disability Reform Council saw it endorse the Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments Framework, an integrated market sector and workforce strategy with information linkages, a capacity-building policy framework and a rural and remote service delivery strategy.</p>
  • <p>Coming from a regional part of Queensland, I can inform the House that, as long as I am involved in the NDIS committee, I will always work hard to ensure that people in regional areas living with a disability have the best possible access to disability services and, as much as we can, match those services to those received in the city. When people live in the bush it can be very difficult to get the same sorts of services, but it is a top priority for me to ensure that, as best we can, those who choose to live in the bush or in the regions or even in remote Australia have access to the sorts of services that we who live in the cities take for granted.</p>
  • <p>The government is carefully considering the Productivity Commission's position paper on NDIS costs. The issue of costs is also a very important issue for the rollout of the NDIS. The contrast between the government's position on the NDIS and Labor's position in the past could not be clearer. Labor dived into trials of the NDIS a year earlier than the Productivity Commission recommended so that they could have it as part of their election campaign. Labor signed the federal government up to one-sided agreements which heavily disadvantaged the Commonwealth. In pursuit of a favourable headline, Labor signed agreements that took 100 per cent of the financial risk with little or no control over the levers to manage that risk. In the first quarter of operation under Labor, the average cost of an NDIS package blew out by an average of 30 per cent.</p>
  • <p>The biggest contrast, however, between the coalition and Labor on the NDIS is on funding. In total, Labor left a funding black hole of $50 billion over the coming decade for the funding of the NDIS, and shame on them. The coalition government took the difficult decisions needed to save the NDIS from Labor's funding black hole. It created the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account, which saw savings from other portfolios and other projects. The social services minister identified that this was an important opportunity for the NDIS and that any savings, any opportunities, from government projects would be quarantined into this special project account, which would go part of the way to funding the NDIS into the future, to try and make up this $50 billion black hole that was left to us. The government committed $1.3 billion to the fund from closing carbon tax compensation for new welfare recipients and another $62.1 million from additional reviews of disability support pension recipients. We tried to add a further $3 billion from the omnibus savings and childcare reform bill, though Labor did all they could to undermine all these measures. Labor would not accept the savings measures necessary, so we have to now take the politically tough decision to propose a 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare levy for all Australians in two years time. Reasonable members opposite know that this is the right thing to do. They know that the NDIS, properly funded, is a vital strategy for Australians.</p>
  • <p>In Australia, we look after our mates. We acknowledge that people who are living with a disability deserve to live in dignity. A sensible approach for the government to plug that $50 billion black hole, because of Labor's obstructionist approach to these things, is by introducing that 0.5 per cent Medicare levy. Many of those opposite, I know, secretly support this. But there is one person who does not, and that is the Leader of the Opposition. It is an absolute disgrace that he is trying to prevent proper funding for those living with a disability. He should hang his head in shame. Those more reasonable members opposite should pull him aside and give him a jolly good stern talking-to, because Australians look after their mates&#8212;we look after our mates who are in their most vulnerable state&#8212;and this is Labor's opportunity to do the right thing.</p>
  • <p>The bill before the House is another example of this responsible policymaking of the government. Schedule 1 of the bill establishes an NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in line with the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs report into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings. The bill was carefully considered and developed in consultation with states and territories, providers, people living with disabilities and their families and carers. It creates an independent regulator with the necessary power to register providers, handle complaints, analyse reportable incident notifications, manage the standards which service providers work under and enforce a code of conduct for NDIS providers and workers. The measures are properly funded, like all coalition policies, with $209 million over four years. It will provide a single point of contact for all jurisdictions, maximising efficiency and making the process as easy for consumers and providers as possible. It has been brought forward early so it is in place in good time for the full rollout.</p>
  • <p>Schedule 2 makes some necessary amendments to the objects and principles of the act, especially relating to carers. It improves some definitions and repairs some technical flaws. Again, this follows careful consultation with COAG and following the advice of an independent Ernst &amp; Young report. In my time on the NDIS committee inquiry as it relates to mental health, we received evidence and submissions regarding possible issues with definitions in the act and the role of mental health carers. Schedule 2 of this bill is a response to previous feedback of this kind in other areas of disability care and shows the government's positive engagement with these processes. The bill is another example of timely, responsible forward planning and consultative policymaking from the Turnbull government, and I commend the bill to the House. <i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>