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Labor ‘alarmed’ by NDIA exodus

5 July 2019 at 5:08 pm
Luke Michael
Bill Shorten has expressed concerns about instability in the National Disability Insurance Agency after it emerged several senior staff have departed the organisation in recent days.

Luke Michael | 5 July 2019 at 5:08 pm


Labor ‘alarmed’ by NDIA exodus
5 July 2019 at 5:08 pm

Bill Shorten has expressed concerns about instability in the National Disability Insurance Agency after it emerged several senior staff have departed the organisation in recent days.

The former opposition leader questioned why NDIS Minister Stuart Robert said the scheme was operating smoothly when four senior staff had resigned in the past week.

The NDIA confirmed the recent departure of two senior leaders – head of markets Antonia Albanese and chief risk officer Anthony Vella – and said deputy CEO Michael Francis will leave the agency in September.

Pro Bono News understands general manager Stephanie Gunn has also quit, although the NDIA has not commented on this.

These resignations follow the departure of CEO Robert De Luca, who ­resigned suddenly in May and is still to be replaced.

A spokesperson for Shorten told Pro Bono News these recent resignations had only been made public because questions had been asked by the opposition and the media.   

Shorten, who was recently appointed shadow NDIS minister, is concerned the implementation of the scheme will suffer while the NDIA scrambles to fill holes in its senior leadership team.

“It is alarming that this group of senior executives lack such confidence in the way the NDIA is being run that they are choosing to leave,” Shorten said.

“This scheme is so important for the vulnerable but is being chaotically implemented.

“Yet the minister in Parliament has told the nation it’s all going swimmingly – he must be either oblivious or delusional.”

Minister Robert used Question Time on Thursday to say the NDIS was now available to “all Australians on the continent”.

“We are getting on with the job strongly in serving participants in this world-leading scheme,” Robert said.

The NDIA has moved to play down concerns about instability in the organisation.

An agency spokesperson told Pro Bono News that interim arrangements with experienced personnel have been put in place to ensure the scheme continued to run effectively.

“The NDIA has a strong and experienced leadership team, who are focused on continuing to guide the agency to deliver improved outcomes for NDIS participants,” the spokesperson said. 

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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  • John Fitzpatrick says:

    I don’t know why Bill Shorten is complaining. The NDIA was introduced by the Labor Federal government and had never been costed from day one. Most of the staff are leftovers from other government departments so what do you expect Bill.

  • Ray says:

    For the Minister to say the NDIA is operating smoothly is just plain lies or has his head in the sand. Most recipients are suffering from lack of funding long delays and just plain incompetence from the NIDIS staff who appear to have no concept of the Disability Sector. And I comment from experience working at the coal face day in day out. I see first hand what happens when unnecessary delays hold up payment for critical equipment. In days past we would have ordered and paid for the equipment via old funding arrangements and the recipient would be sleeping in his new bed not waiting 18 months. This is just once instance there are many, many more. Yes its running smoothly no one is getting any funding, not!!!

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