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Bill Shorten at his NDIS press conference last night (Facebook/Bill Shorten MP)

A Labor-chaired parliamentary committee has flagged human rights concerns with the Albanese Government’s proposed changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Source: The Guardian.

The committee warned some aspects may not be “sufficiently flexible” and others not in line with international human rights law.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten used a press conference last night to attack the Opposition and the Greens after the unlikely alliance teamed up to send the NDIS reform bill back to a committee until early August.

The former Labor leader claimed the delay would cost an estimated $1 billion, or about $23 million a day, labelling it “obscene, horrific, stupid and arrogant”.

A Labor-majority committee last week recommended Parliament pass the Government’s NDIS reform bill, while also saying it should offer more details on exactly how changes would affect the disability community.

But a separate committee report released this week has raised human rights concerns about the legislation.

The committee, chaired by the Labor MP Josh Burns, reviews bills to determine whether there are any limitations on human rights and whether any limitations should be allowed.

Its fifth report of the year included a look at the NDIS proposals, which will clarify what support can be accessed by those on the scheme, change the way participants receive plan budgets and give more powers to the head of the agency in charge of the scheme to curb top-up payments.

The original bill’s explanatory memorandum said the changes would mean participants could no longer pay for items, such as “holidays, groceries, payment of utility bills, online gambling, perfume, cosmetics, standard household appliances and whitegoods” through the scheme.

Though it was later amended to remove specific references, the committee said it still held concerns the proposed changes weren’t flexible enough. It recommended the Government tweak the rule to allow undeclared or prohibited supports to be considered if the participant can show it is needed to assist them with their disability.


Labor-led committee raises human rights concerns over NDIS bill as Shorten blasts delays (By Sarah Basford Canales, The Guardian)