A leading Indigenous disability organisation says the Federal government should adopt more culturally safe practices to reduce spending on the country’s disability service.
The calls follow last Friday’s announcement that the federal government would place a price cap on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The cap means the cost of the scheme would grow by 8 per cent a year, notably lower then the 14 per cent rate the scheme was trailing towards.
The cap has been criticised by disability advocates and support groups who say there was no consultation process before the decision was made.
First Peoples Disability Network CEO Damian Griffis, is part of a First Nations advisory group for the NDIS who says there was no communication before the announcement.
“I think consultation could’ve been better there,” he said.
The announcement has also led to some participants worried if they will still receive services once the cap is introduced.
The CEO says he’s still waiting for more information.
“I think we need to get more detail, if the cap is about addressing the dodgy service providers, and the fact they have been responsible for parts of the large price blowout, then that’s a different conversation.
Griffis believes there is a better way to deal with the costs.
“A cap on any human service is unwise in our experience, The NDIS will always need to be flexible, will always need to be innovative and putting a dollar figure on it at the moment is a difficult thing.
But there’s no doubt there needs to be cost measures, and cost savings need to be put in place.
We don’t argue with that, but there’s different ways of doing business to make it work better,” the CEO said.
Griffis says Increasing community involvement in the scheme would lower costs, and provide Indigenous participants with a cultural safe service.
“We don’t need a large service provider to come in, what we need is to provide the skills to local community members so they can provide support to their own community members with disabilities.
That’s also a very culturally appropriate way to do business.
It’s also about keeping support inside the community itself so people can stay on country.
We actually see a great opportunity here to provide a culturally appropriate community led that’s actually cost effective,” he said.
Listen to the full interview with First Peoples Disability Network CEO Damian Griffis Here: