LABOR’S NDIS LIP SERVICE
The Labor Party and the Greens have struck a blow against a bipartisan and cross-party approach to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Today Senator Sue Boyce and I moved a motion in the Senate to establish a Joint Parliamentary Committee to be chaired by both sides of politics to oversee the implementation of an NDIS. Mr George Christensen has a similar motion listed for a vote in the House of Representatives.
The introduction of an NDIS will span several parliaments. There needs to be a mechanism to elevate the implementation of this historic social reform above partisan politics.
Disappointingly, the Labor Party and the Greens in the Senate voted against the establishment of the NDIS Parliamentary Committee. While the Government parties did support a separate Coalition motion declaring the Senate’s cross-party support for an NDIS, in an act of hypocrisy they opposed the establishment of the committee that would have given expression and meaning to that support.
The Leader of the Opposition has written to Prime Minister Gillard three times offering bipartisanship and proposing a joint parliamentary oversight committee. The Prime Minister has rejected the offer.
Rather than engage constructively with the Coalition to see an NDIS become a reality, the Government has demonstrated that its words about working co-operatively and in a cross-party way to introduce an NDIS are meaningless platitudes.
Australians with disability are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of information and consultation about the design and implementation of the NDIS.
A parliamentary committee would have provided a forum to ask the legitimate questions Australians with disability want asked.
The NDIS should be owned by the Parliament as a whole, not by any political party.