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Bruce Bonyhady (NDIS Review Panel website)

Australians with a disability are pressured to present “the worst version of themselves or their children” to get help through the National Disability Insurance Scheme or risk having no support at all, according to an interim report from a review into the scheme. Source: SMH.

Bruce Bonyhady, the godfather of the original NDIS who is now co-chairing the government-commissioned review, has warned that community supports for people with a disability through schools and mainstream settings – a core feature of the initial vision – have never been delivered.

Professor Bonyhady and review co-chair Lisa Paul have described an all-or-nothing scenario where people either gain access to the scheme and fear being kicked off, or fall through the cracks and miss out on the help they need – a situation they say is both “deeply unfair” and “deeply inequitable” in the report to be published today.

Professor Bonyhady said the outcome was “the exact opposite of what was intended”.

“This was meant to be a strength-based scheme. It was meant to focus on what people could do and support them to have good lives, as opposed to focusing on what they can’t do in order to get entry to the scheme and get a package,” he said.

Instead, the report says participants are applying for the NDIS and remaining on the scheme out of fear they won’t find support outside it. “And people who cannot access the scheme are missing out on vital supports and services, increasing future needs. This puts great financial stress on the scheme,” it said.

The NDIS is in the Albanese Government’s sights, with costs growing by almost 14 per cent a year and projected to reach $55.9 billion by 2026-27. NDIS Minister Bill Shorten ordered the review and has promised to pare back growth by $15 billion in the next four years, eventually limiting increased costs to 8 per cent a year.


NDIS now ‘exact opposite of what was intended’, says scheme’s godfather (By Natassia Chrysanthos, Sydney Morning Herald)