Bill Shorten’s leadership continues in disability space

Posted 6 months ago by Nicole Pope

Bill Shorten has been appointed Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Shadow Minister for Government Services [Source: Shutterstock]
Bill Shorten has been appointed Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Shadow Minister for Government Services [Source: Shutterstock]

As Anthony Albanese takes his stand as Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten will continue to support Australians with disability by taking on two new portfolios.

Mr Albanese announced his Cabinet early this week, with former Labour leader Bill Shorten appointed Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Shadow Minister for Government Services.

Mr Shorten says he is “very pleased” to be appointed in these positions.

“Working with people with disability, their carers and their families to create the National Disability Insurance Scheme was my first job in politics and remains one of the great privileges of my life,” he says.

“Millions of Australians rely on services delivered by agencies such as Centrelink and Medicare every day.

“It’s the frontline for Government and the best example of why politics matters to people.

“Every Australian is entitled to be treated with dignity by their Government, and ensuring this is the case will be my priority in this portfolio,” Mr Shorten says.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Ross Joyce welcomes Bill Shorten as Shadow Minister for the NDIS and Government Services.

“We are looking forward to working with Bill on fixing the NDIS so Australians with disability can start getting the NDIS they fought for,” he says.

National Disability Services (NDS) also welcomed the announcement, alongside the appointment of Linda Burney as Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services.

Acting CEO of NDS, David Moody says both shadow Ministers continue to play an important role in the implementation of the NDIS.

“Ms Burney and Mr Shorten have both have been involved in the discussions around fixing the NDIS and have been key supporters of this important reform.

“NDS is keen to work closely with all sides of politics, the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Commission to ensure that disability service providers are able to provide quality services for people with disability, to support them to lead an ordinary life.

Mr Moody says the NDS’ focus is on working to fix a range of issues with the NDIS.

“This can only be done by a concerted effort, which means bipartisan support to deliver the solutions.

He says the NDS will continue to engage with the Agency, the Commission and Government about future policy directions and priorities for the disability sector.

Director, Policy and Advocacy of People with Disability Australia (PWDA), Romola Hollywood says PWDA welcomes Shadow Minister Shorten’s appointment as he is familiar with issues surrounding the NDIS and thanks Senator Carol Brown for her work as outgoing Shadow Minister.

Ms Hollywood says there needs to be significant reforms to the NDIS that put people with disability at the centre.

“We need changes to make sure that all people with disability are getting fair and equitable access to the NDIS.

“Planning and plan reviews also need to change, to make the processes easier, more transparent and really do give us the choice and control that was promised.

“We believe the staffing cap at the NDIA needs to be removed, and more people with disability need to be employed to run the NDIS, starting with the new CEO."

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