The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (14:28):
My question is to the Minister for Human Services. What communication has the minister now had with residents and next of kin regarding her backflip to halt the privatisation of supported disability accommodation?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:28):
I thank the honourable member for her question. My understanding is that all of the people who are families or residents of group homes have been advised that the government has modified its position in the sense that we consulted with families to ask how they were progressing under the current scenario. The report was made publicly available for anybody who wanted to read it. The advice that we got back from residents and families was that the NDIS was a very challenging transition time for them, so they have asked that we pause any change at this stage while they transition to the NDIS.
The Hon. E.S. Bourke: Not deliver your policy—the policy that you made during the election, the 18 words of your policy?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Mr President, I am hopefully becoming more deaf in my right ear so that I can ignore the disorderly interjections of the members opposite.
The Hon. C.M. Scriven: All your side are deaf in both ears, usually.
The PRESIDENT: Can we just keep the private conversations—
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As I have stated in this chamber numerous times, South Australian participants were due to be at full transition by 30 June 2018. That was delayed, as we know. The ambition of transitioning people onto the new scheme was very ambitious. The federal government, under previous prime minister Julia Gillard, ignored the advice of their own Productivity Commission and commenced transitioning people a full 12 months earlier, which led to the description of the NDA as being like trying to fly a plane while it is being built.
I think most people understand that people were put through the system too quickly and there was a focus on quantity rather than quality. This has impacted on a whole range of people with disabilities as they have transitioned through. That is true no less for people who are living in supported accommodation services. It has been quite a difficult process for a lot of people. Some people receive a range of different services, including their accommodation services.
What the report that we commissioned has said to us is that there are some people who would like to have options in terms of what alternatives are offered by the non-government sector. Some people are quite fearful of any change, but we do know that universally we would like to increase the capacity of people to make those decisions for themselves because that is what the NDIS is all about; it is about choice and control for participants.
In the meantime, I think the report demonstrates that people are not universally embracing of the government-supported accommodation services. There are some comments in there that are quite negative and so we expect that there are some people who would probably like a change. But it is focused on people with disabilities. Very much the clients should be front and centre in these decisions. We have listened to them. I make no apology for actually asking people what they think, which the Labor Party never did. They didn't actually consult anybody about what their process was. We have actually asked the employees, we have asked the clients and their families and we have listened to them.