Morrison vows to prioritise NDIS following election win
Monday, 20th May 2019 at 4:05 pm
Newly re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison says fixing problems in the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be an immediate priority for the federal government, as the social sector reacts to the Coalition’s stunning election victory.
While Labor were hot favourites to win Saturday’s election, Morrison handed the Coalition its third straight election triumph, dedicating the victory to the “quiet Australians” who relied on the government to put them first.
Morrison told The Australian following the win that addressing failures in the NDIS was among his first priorities.
This pledge has been welcomed by disability groups, who say they intend to keep the prime minister to his word.
Every Australian Counts director Kirsten Deane congratulated the re-elected Morrison government and said she looked forward to seeing them deliver on their NDIS commitments.
“Australians with disability and their families are depending on the NDIS – and depending on Mr Morrison’s government to get the scheme working the way it should,” Deane said.
“Once the ministerial team has been announced, people with disability, their families and carers will be keen to see immediate action taken to improve the way the scheme works.”
During the election campaign, the Morrison government committed to introducing a new NDIS Participant Guarantee to make it quicker for people to enter the scheme or have their plans reviewed.
The government also pledged to implement a 7 per cent disability employment target in the Australian Public Service, create a $45 million information gateway for people with disability, and invest an additional $20 million to extend the Community Connectors Program.
Deane said she hoped Morrison and his government would listen to people with disability and their families about what needed to be done to get the scheme back on track.
“We will be vigilant to ensure that the Morrison government honours its pre-election commitments to people with disability, their families and carers,” she said.
“The problems with the NDIS must be fixed so people can finally get the support they desperately need. Too many people are falling through the cracks and not getting essential help. The scheme is not working the way it was intended to.
“We want to see the re-elected government roll up its sleeves and get on with the critical job of delivering the support Australians with disability and their families are depending on.”
National Disability Services acting CEO David Moody said he welcomed the prime minister’s comments that sorting out problems with the NDIS was a government priority.
He said disability service providers remained committed to making the scheme work.
“Our priority is the same as Mr Morrison’s priority – to sort out the problems with the NDIS and ensure we provide quality services for people with disability and their families,” Moody said.
“We will work hard with the government, the National Disability Insurance Agency and our members to make this happen.”
The charity and not-for-profit sector has also generally welcomed the Morrison government’s re-election.
Community Council for Australia CEO David Crosbie praised the government’s commitment to fundraising reform, and called for more certainty and support across the sector.
“We know Prime Minister Scott Morrison values the charities sector and we welcome the government’s commitment to reform fundraising regulations in Australia so that charities can get on with doing what they do best – serving their communities,” Crosbie said.
“We believe it is important for governments to work constructively with the charities sector in building flourishing communities across Australia.”
While Labor committed pre-election to appoint a minister for charities if it won government, the Coalition did not follow suit.
Crosbie said he hopes Morrison unveils a charities minister in his new cabinet to ensure all charities and NFPs have a clear avenue for productive engagement with the government.
The Australian Council of Social Service meanwhile has pledged to work with the Morrison government to support people in need.
ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie called on the government to work collaboratively with First Nations leaders, the community sector, the union movement, business groups and regional groups to deliver solutions for a fairer future.
“We firstly urge Mr Morrison to reach out to First Nations leaders as a first priority in forming his new government to establish these relationships of trust for the long term. This must be a priority for a newly elected federal government of Australia,” Goldie said.
“In bringing the community together, we urge Mr Morrison to consider the real and broad support for increasing to Newstart, including from regional communities.
“The community sector is committed to working with the government to guarantee essential services we all need, and to ensure that as a country we are up to tackling today’s challenges together,” Dr Goldie said.
Looking towards the housing sector, Community Housing Industry Association chair Michael Lennon said he welcomed the government’s election victory.
Lennon acknowledged the Coalition’s work creating the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation, and welcomed the Coalition’s election commitment to use the NHFIC to support first home buyers.
“After a hard-fought campaign in which housing featured prominently, CHIA looks forward to working closely with the new government to address Australia’s far-reaching housing affordability crisis,” Lennon said.
“This critically affects not only aspiring first home owners, but also many low-waged workers and vulnerable households doing it tough in often expensive and unsuitable private rental housing.”