Bangladesh-Australia Ministerial Dialogue, Dhaka

  1. Bangladesh’s Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong held their first ministerial dialogue on Tuesday, 21 May 2024 in Dhaka.
  2. The Ministers noted the warm bilateral relationship founded on more than fifty years of diplomatic relations and deepening friendship between our peoples. They recognised that high-level visits at the political level can help take the relationship to further new heights.
  3. The Ministers recalled the constructive, positive bilateral discussions held at the Indian Ocean Conference in Perth in February 2024, following those during the Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka in 2023. They noted ongoing collaboration and cooperation in regional and multilateral fora, including the Indian Ocean Rim Association and at the United Nations.
  4. The Ministers appreciated the growing strategic depth and dimensions of the bilateral relations. They noted the commonalities between Bangladesh’s Indo-Pacific Outlook, the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s Indo-Pacific Outlook and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo- Pacific. They reaffirmed their shared vision and desire to work towards a region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous, inclusive and free from intimidation, interference and coercion.
  5. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of building regional health security, promoting demographic resilience, enhancing multi-modal connectivity, and strengthening clean energy supply chains. The Ministers agreed on the importance of promoting open channels of communication and confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of conflict in the region.
  6. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Indo- Pacific, democratic values, human rights, freedom of navigation and overflight, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Australia and Bangladesh are committed to working together to find practical solutions to shared contemporary challenges, including maritime security threats, climate change, cybercrimes and countering trafficking in persons.
  7. The Ministers discussed developments in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The Ministers reiterated their shared concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, which has been exacerbated following the 7 October attacks, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and reaffirming support for a two-state solution.
  8. The Ministers also expressed serious concern over the ongoing war in Ukraine and its repercussions around the world. They reiterated the call for a peace process through dialogue and diplomacy with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.
  9. The Ministers expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating conflict situation in Myanmar and its effect on regional security and stability, calling for scaling up of efforts by ASEAN and other key regional actors.
  10. The Ministers affirmed their intention to enhance cooperation on deepening two-way trade and economic ties as Bangladesh progresses towards graduation from UN LDC status, with Australia committing to maintain tariff-free, quota-free access to its market to support Bangladesh’s smooth transition. The Bangladesh Minister provided assurances that necessary support would be given to Australian investors, including in thrust sectors like agro-processing, ICT and logistics.
  11. The Ministers noted Australia’s ongoing funding for multilateral development banks to support Bangladesh’s efforts to address its priority structural reforms that would bolster development and economic growth. The Ministers stressed the need for strengthening the international financial architecture.
  12. Noting the importance of enhanced connectivity to increase regional economic integration and growth, the Ministers discussed Australian technical support in partnership with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation to connectivity measures via the South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity programme. The Ministers agreed to work further on bilateral air connectivity and cable connectivity resilience.
  13. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of skills development and training to foster inclusive economic growth, with Australia announcing AUD 3 million in support for delivery of technical and vocational training for Bangladesh’s youth. The Bangladesh Minister expressed interest in enhancing cooperation with Australia in the fields of research and innovation. The Ministers affirmed Australia’s long-standing commitment to building capacity in Bangladesh, with over 3,000 Bangladeshis having completed studies under the Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowship Programme since 1982. Working with the UNDP, Australia has provided technical assistance and policy support towards developing a strategy for inclusive social security system.
  14. Australia and Bangladesh reaffirmed the vital importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all fields, notably across education, government and parliamentary representation. Australia reaffirmed its support for investments to promote women’s economic empowerment. Recognising gender equality as a shared priority with opportunities for regional leadership, the Ministers agreed to work bilaterally and multilaterally to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
  15. The Ministers agreed on the importance of enhanced cooperation on climate change, including funding of vital climate adaptation and mitigation measures. Australia emphasised its partnership with Bangladesh to support agricultural production and adaptation research, including through the work of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. They discussed enhancing cooperation on capacity building for accessing international climate financing. Bangladesh welcomed the forthcoming visit by Australia’s Ambassador for Climate Change, and offered to share some of its locally-led adaptation solutions with the Pacific Island countries, including through trilateral engagement with Australia.
  16. Australia acknowledged the generosity of the Bangladesh government and people in hosting the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, and Bangladesh acknowledged the sustained humanitarian contribution of the Australian Government to support the Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh, with both Ministers underlining the importance of working towards the Rohingyas’ safe and dignified repatriation to Myanmar.
  17. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to enhancing maritime and oceans capabilities as a critical means to protecting our marine environment and promoting sovereignty and the rule of law. The Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation to combat people’s smuggling and transnational crimes across the region, including through prioritising cooperation between their coast guards. Ministers agreed to support regional and international efforts towards combatting transnational organised crimes in the Indo-Pacific through both normative and practical actions.
  18. As founding members of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, Australia and Bangladesh expressed concern about the loss of life and exploitation of vulnerable people such as the Rohingyas, including women and children, at the hands of transnational criminal networks. The Australian Minister noted that the Commander of Australia’s Maritime Border Command will visit Bangladesh to further discuss these issues. The Ministers agreed on the importance of safe migration pathways in our region to curb irregular and unsafe migration patterns.
  19. Noting the growth in the Bangladesh diaspora in Australia and the contributions made by our two peoples to deepening the bilateral relationship, the Ministers affirmed the importance of preservation and promotion of arts and culture, and committed to signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Arts and Culture.

Disability Community Rejects Labor’s NDIS Bill

We’re set for round two of disabled people vs. Labor’s changes to the NDIS. 

Today, Wednesday 22nd May 2024, the Australian Senate will hold its second public hearing into the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill 2024. 

Day one of hearings saw witnesses condemn the Bill and implore Senators to recommend it not pass in its current form. 

The legislation, which proposes the most significant changes to the NDIS since it commenced over a decade ago, was developed behind closed doors with representatives from disability organisations required to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

On day one of the inquiry, the committee heard directly from disabled people. Their concerns with the bill, include: 

  • “This [bill] will do nothing in achieving good outcomes, this will do nothing in protecting human rights. This will kill thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people.”
     
  • “This bill is the most dangerous piece of legislation since the changes to the DSP and Robodebt”
     
  • “This bill enables the NDIA to force me out of my home if I need eight hours of support or more. I will be forced to choose between living with my wife and my vital support needs.”
     
  • “[Disability] varies so greatly that you cannot possibly put a black-and-white mechanism, [a] computer algorithm, in place – much less one that is beyond being able to be challenged by a participant.”
     
  • “Fundamentally, this bill ceases to be fit for purpose, because it does not understand what it seeks to achieve unless all it seeks to achieve is to save a bunch of money at the cost of very many lives.”

Senator Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services.  

“Day one of the hearings demonstrated that the disability community are seeing right through Labor’s spin. We can see the true intent of this Bill: to cut funding to disabled people and give politicians the power to kick tens of thousands off the scheme with the stroke of a pen.

“To pass this bill as it is now would be the end of the NDIS, and risks thousands upon thousands of disabled people experiencing harm and living a more difficult life. 

“This NDIS bill lacks any compassion for what will happen to disabled people who get kicked off the NDIS. It’s going to put extra pressure on families and put the thousands of people employed within the disability sector in uncertainty.

“This bill robs disabled people of the power to choose the supports they need to live a good life, and puts that power into the hands of politicians who have no idea what it’s like to be disabled. 

“This bill and Labor’s budget cuts threaten to undo all of the progress that disabled people and our families have made because of the NDIS.“

GREENS CALL FOR AUSTRALIA TO SUPPORT A PEACEFUL AND JUST RESOLUTION IN NEW CALEDONIA

Senator Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Peace: 

“The ongoing violence, and the French authorities’ response, in New Caledonia is deeply concerning.

“The Australian Government must respond to the calls of local organisations to support neutral mediation between all parties, supported by the UN and Pacific Leaders. It is paramount that a peaceful resolution is reached. 

“With New Caledonia listed as a colonised territory with the United Nations, the path to peace must prioritise the self-determination of the Indigenous Kanak people and must ensure that all people in New Caledonia can live in peace.

“Additionally, the Greens are calling on the Federal Government to continue their efforts to ensure all citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members, including those outside of Noumea, are supported to return to Australia.”

TERRITORY LABOR LOWERS MINING ROYALTIES

Suki Dorras-Walker:

“While the Territory Government struggles to find the money to fund much needed domestic violence and homelessness services, it’s implementing a new scheme which lowers the royalty rate for new mines and therefore the revenue of the Territory Government.”

“This new mining royalties scheme reveals that we don’t have a budget deficit problem, we have a problem with a Territory Government that is unwilling to make its corporate mates pay their fair share when extracting our public resources. 

“These resources belong to Territorians and we should be getting bang for our buck.”

“While the current reduction in royalties does not apply to existing mines, it leaves the door open for them to adopt the same model. That’s a major threat to the Territory’s revenue.  Given a large proportion of royalties come from mining on Aboriginal Land, there is reason to believe this could disproportionately affect First Nations Territorians.”

“Territorians are feeling the cost of living squeeze. But, once again, the mining industry gets exactly what they want – more profit at the expense of Territorians.”

“We’ve just had a budget where the NT Government is emphasising revenue created in the Territory and cutting essential services. It makes no sense to change the rules so that mines pay less royalties for our public resources instead of more – it’s a rip off.”

“Unlike the CLP and Territory Labor, the NT Greens do not take donations from mining corporations looking to buy influence. So we will always be advocating for the best deal for Territorians, not big corporations.”

Two years of Anthony Albanese’s economic vandalism is killing Australian small business

After two years of the Albanese Government, it is clear that Labor’s economic vandalism is killing Australian businesses with builders, manufactures and small businesses bearing the brunt. Australian businesses are going to the wall because Anthony Albanese lied about his plan to deliver cheaper power prices and that he would ‘rebuild Australian manufacturing’.

Labor has delivered an insolvency crisis across the Australian economy. According to the official Australian insolvency statistics for April, released by ASIC, insolvencies across construction have already exceeded the annual figure for 2022-23 and manufacturing insolvencies are set to exceed the 2022-23 figures by the end of May. This underscores an increasing rate of insolvencies across the Australian economy, which was already three times higher than the same period, just two years ago under the Coalition.

Businesses are going bust under Labor and it will only get worse. According to CreditorWatch’s Business Risk Index released yesterday, one in 13 Australian hospitality businesses are facing failure in the next 12 months. This is attributed to the sector’s exposure to discretionary spending of consumers “which has dried up as cost-of-living pressures mount.” As CreditorWatch notes, hospitality businesses such as restaurants have been hit hard by cost pressures, with higher than ever power prices and cost of ingredients combining with weaker consumer spending. This report indicates that Western Sydney and South-East Queensland are the regions with the highest risk of business failures.

CreditorWatch has also found that business to business (B2B) payment defaults have hit a record high and are up 69.4 per cent year-on-year, as businesses struggle to pay their invoices. Their analysis shows a strong correlation between B2B payment defaults and business failure indicating there will be a continued and increasing trend in businesses going bust over the coming year.

Anthony Albanese’s energy crisis is killing Australian small businesses. According to Research commissioned by Energy Consumers Australia and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), released today, energy hardship and financial strain is hitting small business harder than COVID-19. One in five small businesses are struggling to pay their energy bills on time and nearly half of small businesses are concerned about their ability to pay future energy bills. More than one in three small to medium-sized enterprises have experienced energy hardship during the past 12 months and rising energy costs are the number one factor which has ­impacted businesses’ financial situation in the last 12 months.

In the face of a deteriorating economy, COSBOA was absolutely right to label the Federal Budget a, “missed opportunity to back small business”.

As small businesses struggle to pay their power bills which have risen by thousands and thousands of dollars, Labor’s response has been to give them $325, spread quarterly. The sector has rightly indicated this “won’t even touch the sides”.

As Australian manufactures fail in great numbers, Labor have committed an additional $22.7 billion for their Future Made in Australia proposal including $13.7 billion of corporate welfare, while their existing $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is yet to spend a single cent.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Industry, Skills and Training and Small and Family Business, Sussan Ley, said Labor’s failure to deliver real economic leadership had taken Australia in the wrong direction and it is only the Coalition, under the leadership of Peter Dutton, that has a proper plan to get Australian back on track.

“Because of Anthony Albanese’s bad calls, Australian businesses are in their worst position since the Global Financial Crisis, with payment defaults the worst on record and Australian households hurting.

“After two years in government, Anthony Albanese’s record is clear: weak leadership on the economy, weak leadership on national security, and a refusal to take responsibility for the dire situation facing Australians and their small businesses.

“Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers love to talk up the jobs they claim to have ‘created’ – well, if they want to take credit for employment outcomes, then they also have to take responsibility for these skyrocketing insolvencies.”

Strengthening ties through the Centre for Australia-India Relations

The Albanese Government is pleased to launch the new Centre for Australia-India Relations headquarters in Parramatta, along with a series of initiatives to further strengthen Australia’s links with India.

The new headquarters will be a focal point for government, business, academia, the cultural sector and Indian-Australian communities to drive new partnership opportunities between our countries. The Centre’s headquarters are supported by both the Australian and New South Wales Governments.

Today we are pleased to announce the recipients of the Centre’s inaugural Maitri Scholars and Fellowships programs. Five Maitri Scholars from India will complete PhDs on STEM research topics, including advanced manufacturing and clean energy solutions. Seven Maitri Fellows will undertake research projects exploring our shared geostrategic and economic future, including in maritime security, responding to climate change, secure supply chains and closer regional cooperation.

India is on track to be the world’s third largest economy by the end of the decade. To ensure Australia benefits from India’s growth, the Australian Government will commence consultations on a future Australia-India economic roadmap. This roadmap will build on the landmark 2018 India Economic Strategy authored by Peter Varghese, and harness the untapped potential we see in some key sectors, while focusing and accelerating our work for the next phase of our relationship. Australia also continues to negotiate its next free trade agreement with India, including for greater market access in agriculture and manufacturing.

These initiatives are on top of additional $14.3m in funding provided in last week’s budget, to expand the Australia India Business Exchange. Austrade will lead new business missions to India across a range of sectors – including agrifood, education, technology, and energy and resources like critical minerals. The expanded program also involves pilot business missions to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to help grow our trade across the South Asia.

Recognising the expertise of Indian-Australian communities, we also announce the Centre’s CEO and Director Network. The Network consists of a group of Indian-Australian corporate leaders who will build knowledge of India among their peers in the Australian business community.

Further information on the inaugural Maitri Scholars and Fellows is available on the Centre for Australia-India Relations website.

Public submissions for the new Australia-India roadmap are encouraged and will be open until 15 July 2024.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:

“Working more closely with our Indian-Australian communities – our fastest growing diaspora – means we can better respond to a diverse and evolving India.

“The Centre’s CEO and Director Network will assist Australian business leaders to engage with India’s growth story.

“The Maitri Scholars and Fellows will also contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of the Australia India relationship, our shared interests and our shared challenges, while fostering life-long connections.”

Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

“Trade with India is shaping up to be a big win for Australia. Since our government implemented a new trade deal with India, Australian businesses have seen a massive boost in exports.

But we think we can go even further, which is why we committed over $14m in this years’ budget to expand the Australia India Business Exchange, and have announced consultations on a new Australia-India economic roadmap.

A new India economic roadmap will help us focus and accelerate our efforts to harness India’s growth, and tap into the enormous trade and investment opportunities that will help us secure a future made in Australia.”

CEO Centre for Australia-India Relations, Tim Thomas:

“The Centre for Australia-India Relations is excited to establish its headquarters in Parramatta, a thriving innovation ecosystem and an important focal point for the vibrant Indian-Australian community. The Centre has built strong momentum through our Maitri grants and stakeholder impact programs. The Centre will continue to galvanise Australian stakeholders to move on the tremendous opportunities that India’s growth presents.”

Visit to Bangladesh and Singapore

This week I will travel to Bangladesh and Singapore to advance Australia’s interests in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region.

As Australia enhances our engagement with the Indian Ocean region, I am pleased to undertake my first visit to Bangladesh.

Australia is working with Bangladesh to deepen our cooperation, including on trade and investment, and to find practical solutions to shared challenges such as climate change, regional maritime security and people smuggling.

In Dhaka, I look forward to discussing these issues with Prime Minister the Honourable Sheikh Hasina MP, Foreign Minister the Honourable Dr Hasan Mahmud MP and other members of the Bangladeshi Government.

Australia and Bangladesh have significant people-to-people links, with over 50,000 people in Australia born in Bangladesh.

I will also travel to Cox’s Bazar, where I will see how Australia’s humanitarian assistance is delivering practical support to displaced Rohingya and Bangladeshi host communities.

Australia’s humanitarian assistance is part of a global effort to address the causes of displacement, find durable solutions, and ultimately allow Rohingya to realise their goal of returning to their homeland.

My visit to Singapore, my second as Foreign Minister, is an opportunity to discuss trade and investment, green economy opportunities, defence and security, and our close cooperation on shared regional challenges.

I look forward to meetings with Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Singapore is one of Australia’s closest friends and partners, and our relationship is based on mutual trust, respect, and shared strategic perspectives.

GREENS RESPONSE TO CLOSURE OF BUNBURY PRIVATE MATERNITY HOSPITAL

St John of God Bunbury will close their maternity ward in less than 6 weeks, despite having 96 patients booked in to give birth in the unit, including some after the closure date. 

In a Facebook post and media statement, expectant families were told that the maternity ward would be closing on the 25th of June, and that they should plan to give birth at nearby Bunbury Regional Hospital or in Perth, more than 2 hours away. 

Staff across the maternity ward, which also delivers postnatal care and neonatal special care will be left jobless with just weeks to prepare.  

It comes as another blow to maternity care in the South West, with the WA Country Health Service announcing that services that support complex births at Margaret River Hospital would be transferred to Busselton and Bunbury Hospitals. 

The Greens are urging the state and federal governments to step in and adequately fund WA’s public hospitals so that the healthcare system can deal with the influx of patients, and ensure that the 96 families still booked in at St John of God Bunbury receive continuity of care for the remainder of their pregnancies. 

Greens MLC for South Metropolitan Region Brad Pettitt
“This is an incredibly disappointing announcement for parents hoping to stay close to home when having their baby. Now they will be forced to travel upwards of two hours to receive care in a different hospital that is likely already swamped.

“Services for women and babies in regional areas should be at the forefront of Labor’s priorities. These services are crying out for more funding, and when we have a multi-million dollar surplus in this state, why are we leaving families without essential care? 

“I am shocked that many of the staff had to find out about this closure on social media. Workers deserve better than to find out on Facebook that they have lost their job, and I implore St John of God to support these workers to transition into new roles.”

Greens Spokesperson for Health Jordon Steele-John

“We heard just 3 weeks ago that Bunbury Regional Hospital is already struggling with response times. This closure only serves to add extra pressure that they simply will not be able to deal with.

“Our public hospitals are grossly underfunded, all over the state. We need the Federal and State Governments to further invest in our public healthcare system so that people across WA can access affordable healthcare. 

“Our community deserves better than private healthcare providers deciding at short notice there is no longer a profit to be made, and closing a vital service.

“Healthcare should be run in the interests of our community, and that’s exactly why we need State and Federal Labor governments to stop crowing about their budget surpluses and instead invest in healthcare. 

GREENS WARN WOODSIDE MORE FIGHTS AHEAD OVER GAS EXPANSION

The Australian Greens have warned coal and gas giants to expect more blows to their climate-destroying expansion that overrides First Nations voices, after the party killed Labor’s gas fast-track bill and drew the ire of Woodside chief Meg O’Neill.

In a huge win for climate last week, the Greens secured an agreement with the government to shelve Labor’s offshore gas fast-track plan.

Yet in response today, Woodside Energy boss Meg O’Neill took a shot at the agreement, saying it would make it harder to roll out more gas projects. 

Which the Greens say is the point.

While coal and gas lobbyists may be used to politicians caving to their every demand, the Greens will continue to use their power to fight any new coal or gas projects, and say the fight will only intensify in the lead up to the election as a minority Parliament looms.

Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:

“If the gas cartel thinks this win by the Greens is a blow to their climate-destroying expansion, they ain’t seen nothing yet. 

“This is just the beginning of the Greens’ fight against the big coal and gas corporations that are fueling drought, fires and floods while often paying next to no tax and sending profits offshore. 

“People can’t insure their homes, farmers are losing income and forests are drying out  because of the coal and gas-fuelled climate crisis. The only chance of saving Australia’s economy from the ravages of climate collapse is if there are no new coal and gas mines. 

“Woodside’s expansion threatens Australian lives and livelihoods.

“No doubt coal and gas corporations are used to compliant politicians who take their donations and do their bidding, but as we head towards a predicted minority Parliament, the Greens will fight for higher taxes on big gas corporations and an end to new coal and gas mines.”

Greens’ First Nations and resources spokesperson, Senator Dorinda Cox:

“It is not acceptable that in a climate crisis, where we see everyday Australians impacted by climate emergencies and devastation that fossil fuel giants believe they can silence First Nation voices and knowledge to destroy country and precious irreplaceable cultural heritage. 

“Yet we see time and time again the Albanese Labor Government caving to lobbyists and opening new climate and environment-wrecking gas projects. 

“The Greens, Traditional Owners and community have shown their commitment and determination to fight these gas wrecking projects. 

“Last week we won against Labor’s fast-tracking of gas approvals and we’ll keep fighting to make sure Australians understand the implications of climate wrecking projects and that Labor cannot be allowed to sell off our sea, country and cultural heritage to the highest bidder. Our sea country and heritage is not for sale.”

SENATE INQUIRY INTO “DANGEROUS AND RISKY” NDIS CUTS AND CHANGES

Today, Tuesday 21st May 2024, the Australian Senate will commence its inquiry into Labor’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill 2024. 

Senator Steele-John, the Australian Greens spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services, and the only physically disabled person in the Australian Senate, will attend both days of the Senate inquiry.

The Bill proposed the most significant changes to the NDIS since it commenced over a decade ago.

Submissions to the inquiry have implored Senators to not pass the bill in its current form. 

Those giving evidence on the first day of the inquiry include disabled people, their representative advocacy organisations, and those involved in the NDIS Review. 

The legislation was developed behind closed doors with representatives from disability organisations required to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

Senator Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services. 

“As the only physically disabled person in the Senate, I feel a great obligation to our disability community when it comes to this Senate Inquiry. 

“The changes proposed by Labor are the end of the NDIS as we know it. 

“The message from the community is clear, Labor should not cut the NDIS and this draft NDIS legislation should not pass in its current form. 

“The Labor government has failed to get the policy settings right. Labor has made the political decision to balance its budget off the back of disabled people; cutting $14.4 billion from the NDIS just last week.

“As it is drafted, Labor’s proposed changes to the NDIS will make life more difficult for disabled people, our families and the thousands of people who are employed within the NDIS. 

“This bill will enable the agency to make significant changes to the scheme without community consultation. So much for nothing about us, without us.

The reality is that right now the NDIS is ‘the only lifeboat in the ocean.’ Removing participants from the scheme to systems that don’t exist, is outrageously poor planning with obviously harmful consequences. This proves the government is more concerned about cutting costs than improving the NDIS for disabled people. 

“I believe Australians want to ensure disabled people are supported to live fulfilling and productive lives. If the government were proposing cuts and changes to Medicare at the scale they are proposing them for the NDIS there would be a revolt. 

“These changes will see every single NDIS participant’s plan thrown up in the air with deep uncertainty about where the chips will fall because the bill will remove power from the hands of disabled people, putting it squarely back in the grasp of politicians and government bureaucrats.”