Billions in underspent NDIS funding must go to the bush
Two organisations in Barwon, Silverlea in Broken Hill and Café64 in Walgett, have shown us that the NDIS isn’t working in regional NSW. These organisations beloved for the important role that they perform in the community struggle under the NDIS.
The NDIS is a market-based system where government funding no longer goes directly to disability services, but instead to the client, who can choose the providers they want. In regional NSW, there are less individuals that require assistance through the NDIS, which means there’s less money for our services. These individuals are no less important than people with disabilities who live in the city and have far more choice regarding services and support workers.
Sadly, the number of people that are funded for care in Walgett has not been enough to financially sustain Café64, they’ve had to shut up shop. In Broken Hill, Silverlea is soldiering on surviving on a one off grant they received last year.
But, there is a solution for these service providers and many others across regional NSW – $1.6 billion sitting in the Federal Government’s coffers underspent on the NDIS that could go to financially supporting regional services.
This reserve fund cannot sit in the bank when there is a very real need to get it out the door into services that support people living with disabilities in our communities.