Return the funds to the NDIS

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Summary: Scott Morrison, we call on you to reverse the decision to repurpose funds earmarked for the NDIS to the drought affected farmers. We believe this to be unfair and unnecessary.

Personal story: As a doctor working with families affected by disability, as a mother of a child affected with a severe disability and as a wife of a farmer, I whole heartedly disagree with this decision.

The issue: The NDIS is 'fully funded' according to the government. We wonder how this suddenly happened. But we are also very concerned at the decision to re-purpose $3.9Billion from funds ear-marked for NDIS to a futures fund for the drought affected farmers. I understand these funds are redirected from the building Australia fund but they were promised to the NDIS and the families affected by this believed you when you promised it would help future proof the NDIS. Don't let them down.

As a doctor, I am privileged to work with families affected by disability on a daily basis. I am touched by their stories, their strength and courage. I am touched by their struggles and hardship. There is no funding that can take away the emotional, physical and significant health burden of their disabilities and the limitation it places on them to carry on achieving their dreams, live their lives and participate in society in a way in which they choose. The NDIS is a promise to these people and their families that they will be supported to do the things others take for granted. The NDIS is rolling out where I am now and many families are concerned, feel betrayed and are worried they are at the bottom of an empty bucket of funds. This does not help them. Families with obvious need are being rejected, could this be why? Others are simply worried about spending too much in their plans, lest they run out. 

As a mother of a beautiful 6 year old boy with cerebral palsy who is unable to talk, walk or even sit without assistance I can tell you that I am concerned. He is a bright and clever boy with a beautiful personality and a lust for life. He enjoys his friends and family, wants very much to be with his friends and play just like all the other kids his age. The NDIS was supposed to be the ticket to his lifelong participation in activities with friends, his community and society at large. It was his ticket to independence. What do you say to him Scott Morrison? Can you guarantee him a life supported, to achieve his dreams. Can you guarantee the funding will be there?

As the wife of a farmer, I can understand the plight of the farmer in Australia. I appreciate the need for our primary production to stay in Australia. I don't believe we want our produce grown overseas and imported and so we need to support this industry, encourage sustainability and protect the people who work hard to provide us. However, I do not believe this is our only option. Why do we need to take funds from the most vulnerable sector of the community to achieve it? Can we not find another way?

I believe we have a responsibility to care for our vulnerable and I call on you to reconsider this move Scott Morrison. I call on you to find another pool of funding. Furthermore, I call on you to consider supporting those families currently facing rejection, the borderline cases who desperately need help but cannot access it. Who aren't 'bad enough', but live with daily hardship and frustration. If there is so much left over, support them. Finally, perhaps with your extra funds you could consider funding all the extra cost in providing 'proof' for the NDIS, the expensive specialist and psychologist and OT reports required at personal expense.

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