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.
If Minister Stuart Robert says NDIS going so well – as he has just done in Parliament – then why am I hearing that four senior staff have resigned in the last seven days. Watch this space … #ndis #auspol
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) July 4, 2019
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.