Another disappointing response from the NDIA

Below is the NDIA's disappointing response to a personal letter about the NDIS halting its intake in the ACT. 

As usual, the NDIA's response fails to answer the very simple question asked. And it fails to address the key issues raised in the letter.

What the response does show is that the original commitment to Australian's with disability, that the Commonwealth would fund any NDIS participants above the initial estimates, was a incorrect. The response shows that official lied about the initial NDIS agreement and progress of the NDIS in the ACT depended on a new NDIS agreement being struck in November 2016.

It shows clearly that government officials cannot be trusted. It does nothing to alleviate concerns in the community about the operation, stability and security of the NDIS. Which just increases/exacerbates people's concerns about the ability of the NDIA and the Government to deliver an effective NDIS.

The NDIA response omits to mention any deatil from the new NDIS agreement struck in November 2016. Can/should we just assume that its content is irrelevant and the agreement is as meaningless as the previous one? 

The personal letter sent to the NDIA is as follows ...

Subject: Has the NDIS ground to a halt in the ACT?
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:01:03 +1100
From: Bob Buckley <>
CC:,, Leigh, Andrew (MP) <>,,, The Honourable Ms Jenny Macklin MP <>, Seselja, Zed (Senator) <>,


Mr David Bowen
National Disability Insurance Agency
GPO Box 700
Canberra ACT 2601



Dear Mr Bowen,

The following appeared yesterday on several websites.

Concerning news for people with disability in the ACT today. The NDIA has this week ceased to book any planning meetings for new plans for ACT residents – this includes people who have been found eligible but not yet had a planning appointment, and will also affect those whose eligibility decision is pending as well as those who have not yet applied. The number of people affected is not currently clear but ADACAS certainly has clients in all 3 of these groups.

NDIA have advised that as the bilateral agreement target of 5075 participants has been reached, a new person can only enter the scheme when someone who is already in the scheme exits. They state that when new positions become available, priority will be given to people in emergency and crisis situations – although we have no indication about how that will be determined or how the priority list will be managed.

They have stated that this freeze on entry to the scheme will be in place until a new bilateral agreement is signed with the ACT Government. Not-withstanding that we are currently in caretaker mode, I have been advised that this position came as a complete surprise to the ACT and that it is counter to all previous understanding about how the scheme would continue post trial. I have been advised that they are working very hard, at the highest levels, to try to resolve this with the Agency but do not yet have an idea of how long that might take or what is involved.

Is this is true?

If it is true, it contradicts what the Commonwealth and ACT Governments, and the NDIA told to disability sector at the start. This makes bilateral agreements are meaningless ... and the disability sector simply cannot trust what the NDIA says. That is very disappointing; being mis-informed and lied to is extremely difficult for vulnerable people. 

Whether or not the above is true, the NDIS is most certainly not "on schedule" as the NDIA has often claims. I understand that the NDIS roll-out in the ACT was meant to be completed by September 2016. The NDIS has not met this milestone ... apparently, it is well behind schedule in the ACT. So the NDIA is untruthful on this issue too.

The NDIA and its NDIS are quickly becoming major disappointments.


Bob Buckley

“‘Normal’ is a distribution; its not the average or a band near the peak … and extremes are inevitable.” Cameron Jack.