While we welcome the announcement by the Labor Party to “review, defend and fix” the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) one thing they must fix, but haven’t mentioned, is the legislated age discrimination that is sadly part of the current NDIS system and that has truly awful consequences for many Australians and their families.
Age discrimination is not lawful in Australia – unless of course, you are the Federal government and change the rules to suit your needs.
This is exactly what happened when the Federal government introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)– they banned people 65 and over from the NDIS and then amended the Aged Discrimination legislation to cover their tracks.
Most Australians would be shocked to know that, not only if you were 65 and over would you be excluded from the NDIS, but you could also have been refused entry simply because you were in the wrong postcode depending on when the NDIS became available in your area. National Campaign Manager, David Margan said “This is so arbitrary and successive governments have clearly decided to actively discriminate against people with disability entirely on the basis of age, 65 and older and you’re out – it’s wrong, unfair and needs to end.”
We have today written to the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, and the Shadow Minister for the NDIS, Bill Shorten, to ask them to come clean on whether they support age discrimination in the NDIS.
As the 2022 election campaign started, we sent a letter to all sitting MPs in the Federal Parliament asking them three simple questions:
Question 1. Do you support or oppose age discrimination?
Question 2. Do you support implementation of recommendation 72 of the Aged Care Royal Commission ?
Question 3: If elected, will you prioritise this matter for your electorate?
The responses have been frankly, appalling. Most of the politicians from our two major parties didn’t bother responding at all, while those that did, simply avoided answering those three simple questions.
“It’s only the been the Independent Members of Parliament, Zali Steggall (Warringah), Dr Helen Haines (Indi), Rebekha Sharkie (Mayo) and Andrew Wilkie (Clark) and the Australian Greens who have had the integrity to stand up and say “no” to this age discrimination and undertake to prioritise this issue in the next Parliament.” Mr. Margan stated.
Silence on this issue will only allow this unfair and unjust age discrimination to continue.
There are two things that all Australians can do to make a fairer Australia. The first is to join the campaign to end this inequity and make a fairer Australia for all by signing the online petition at: www.disabilitydoesntdisctriminate.com.au.
There, you will also find all you need to know about the campaign.
The second thing to do is to hold your federal member to account – ask them where they stand on ending age discrimination and demand they do better.”