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Disability, Medical Health Aged Care

NDIS Advocates pulling out hair in frustration from a lack of simple fixes and standard best practice not being prioritised, causing the on going perfect storm for rorting and cost blow outs

River Night and Developing Australian Communities 3 mins read
Mr River Night - National Disability Advocate

Available for Comment 


Radio - Live, Pre-recorded and Talkback 




Mr River Night 

Leading National Disability Sector Advocate

Co-founder at Developing Australian Communities 

Public Officer at the National Disability Leadership Organisation


Mr Night is physically located in Brisbane this week


Mr Night is a proud person living with disability, a Father, Carer, National Disability Sector Advocate and outspoken supporter for reform and improvements in the Disability and NDIS sector and has worked across Disability, Youth Justice, Guardianship, Child Safety, Education, TAFE, Aged Care, Forensics Disability and Mental Health.


“I used to have long blond hair in my 30’s. If I still did it would be quickly disappearing in frustration over simple fixes for NDIS spending and rorting just not being prioritised”, said Mr Night today.


“There is one big step and fix that will stop rorting and get spending and funding decisions under control and that is scrapping automation and the dehumanised funding decision approach NDIS is using and seems focused on.


“Stop replacing face to face planning with professionals and those with experience with admin staff, automation and zero contact. That is how we rein in spending, rorting and blow outs

“You cannot recreate a robodebt style system for making decisions about the lives of everyday Australian’s and not expect problems.


“Health, human services, disability support, what is reasonable and necessary and how we fund people to grow, recover, develop skills and decide what is good and what is rorting requires professional judgement and decision making by professionals.


“The current system of automation and turning away from professional judgment is what is creating the risk. It is no different than taking away doctors, nurses and specialists and trying to automat diagnosis and treatment decisions in hospitals so you can employ administrators instead of trained professionals.


“It is maddening suggesting an automated style system, relying on administration staff that never even meet participants face to face and rarely ever talk to them, or their providers, can replace robust decision making by a professional NDIS delegate meeting participants, looking at their individual situation, services, history, views and wishes and professional recommendations and making a decision that is logical, informed and human?


“I keep hearing sensational discussions of rorting and policing but that isn’t what is going to get budgets under control. We are spending more on policing that we are recovering.


“You know how to fix over servicing and spending? You get an experienced professional to sit down with a participant and their stakeholders, have a discussion, look at all professional recommendations and evaluate and plan with them, checking what is essential, what is wish list, what is reasonable and what is or isn’t working and fund a real package that makes sense and is balanced.


“We took away the face-to-face accountability. It is now rare to have a professional delegate from NDIS sit down with participants and stakeholders and ask what is this funding being used for, can we do better, why are we doing things a certain way and what is and isn’t working. That is what causes poor budgeting and a lack of control in spending.


“If we had NDIS delegates sit down and talk to the participant and the service providers together like we did to start with and should still be doing, instead of automation and admin staff making decisions without good case work, it would be extremely hard for any one of them to ‘rort’ the system.


"I just delivered one of Australia's largest disability and NDIS related events in Sydney which was a huge success and what I keep hearing and seeing is a need for human connection, human and professional decision making and face to face codesign. 


"I"I see a sector desperate to get back to basics and see NDIS delegates sit down with everyone in the room, simple and standard best practice, and make good decisions together, not automated, tick and flick admin staff and faceless teams using 'standard' responses. 


"Sadly NDIS is no longer person centred, individualised, human and is not basing decisions on professional know how and robust planning. This is what has created cost blow outs, the chance for rorting and a lack of controls. None of this is fixed by legislation or policing. 


"We are getting ready to run Western Australia's largest disability and NDIS related event in history. I know I will hear the same thing I heard last year which is, 'NDIS please bring back the human-to-human service decisions'. 

Key Facts:

Hundred of Millions in Rorting

A Royal Commission over 3 years and NDIS review and still we see little action to bring back basic best practice 

Automation replacing good professional desision making

Legislation is still the big focus while we don't see the back to basic fixes everyone is crying out for and have been recommended by the Royal Commission and NDIS Review

We know the Hon Bill Shorten is working hard, but we need the front of house NDIS agency practices changed urgnetly, not just legislation and Federal Government works at a polictical level

Perth's massive event will be the biggest Disability and NDIS related evetn in WA's history August 16 and 17.

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