Good grief.

Minister Reynolds says that people in Halls Creek should have the same funding packages as people in Canberra.

Let's take a deep breath, people. Let's look at that.

This is Halls Creek. We all know Canberra, right?

2/ This is what Halls Creek looks like.
A population of 3,269. Versus, of course, 395,790 in Canberra. In 2016, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people made up 67.6% of the population. Versus 0.02% in Canberra.

You know how much Aboriginal people trust wadjela services?
3/ I'm talking to Far North Community Services right now. They don't actually know what delivery is done in Halls Creek, cos they're Broome. Let me look, shall I?

I can find - two that deliver in Halls Creek.

This org has an annual income of $615K.…
4/ I am delighted that two of the Board members are named Molly Lightning and Phyllis Wallaby, because it means that they are not white. As expected, because Halls Creek. From their financials, it looks like they have had about 40K NDIS revenue come in. Ish.
5/ It's not a big company.

Full time employees: 1
Part time employees: 5
Casual employees: 0
Full-time equivalent staff (FTE): 3.47
Estimated number of volunteers: 7

That is how many people are delivering services from that organisation. Because it is in Halls Creek.
6/ And then Far North Community Services, run by Kathy, who I have known forever. Which has 7 mill plus income - but 84% of that is in government grants, not NDIS funding. And only sixteen percent of delivery is done in Halls Creek. You do the math.
So what does your funding buy?
7/ Let me give you a picture of what disadvantage looks like in mental health in Halls Creek, white people.

It is a regional town crafted of intergenerational disadvantage, tears and red dirt, for disabled people. Because of racial inequality, long term systemic racism.
8/ Let me give you the tip, wadjela bureaucrats and politicians - when you are sleeping in the bush with your kids because there is no affordable or accessible housing, the home mods are pretty goddamn cheap.
9/ Did they even bother to LISTEN to those First Nations woman from the Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre at the Joint Standing Committee last week? Or the other Aboriginal women? Did they spend a moment listening to any of us when we told them that they do not understand?
10/ The NDIA have even AGREED to develop a thin markets project ABOUT these regions like Fitzroy Crossing and remote communities in WA because there are. no. services.

There is something like a 50% underspend in Halls Creek. And that is even with people not asking for things.
11/ I can guarantee that my spend on my own plan, in a similarly sized town, would be far, far less than that of a 20 something year old in CBR with the same types of disabilities. There are massive issues with markets in regions, including huge wait lists.

Ours is 18 months.
12/ How many local services do you reckon they have at the Halls Creek shops, Ministers and bureaucrats?

You think there are therapy services lined up down the street and wheelchair shops? What about the ability to purchase support work, with those low numbers?
13/ Don't get me wrong, it's a ripper town with fantastic people. It's well known for turning out amazing footballers, too.…

But only about half those people live in the actual town. Almost half of them speak a language other than English at home.
14/ Cast your mind back to those culturally invalid tools, Minister Reynolds, for your own example. I can give you the information about that, if you'd like to explore it. Why don't you go up to Halls Creek and try one of those tests out on a real live human? With an APM physio.
15/ You won't be able to do it remotely - cos nobody has a computer or ipad under three years old. Unless we are all going to share on a weekday. That's the criteria for your teleassessments. So someone gunna have to drive up there eh? All the way to the Creek. 28 hrs from Perth.
16/ Let me tell you some other stuff that none of you know BECAUSE YOU DO NOT LIVE OUR LIVES. In 2011 there were 78 per cent of people in Halls Creek who identified as Aboriginal. @FPDNAus say that between 40-60% of Aboriginal people have a disability.
17/ Yet in 2013 when Monique did this report - there were only 13 people in Halls Creek, all up - including wadjelas, white people - who got services and supports from the Disability Services Commission. And that, my loves, is because you were sold a lie about how great it was.
18/ Here is the report, from 2013.… You will see that back then, there were no NDIS providers, because there was no NDIS. But - there was no disability support agency listed, either. Thin markets, right?
19/ Your actuary did her modeling based on two sets of numbers, maybe three. One was SDAC, which is mostly extrapolated from thunk up numbers. One was the census and just lol, because they do not count disabled people who are not in receipt of care from 'informal support'.
20/ The Disability Services Commission probably didn't want to say that they mostly didn't provide funding or services to Aboriginal people outside of Perth. It's a thing, pride. So they didn't say that. But the estimates from back in the day was that it was only 2-15% of people.
21/ ...of Aboriginal people who were eligible for supports and services and the rest were - ignored. Died young, mostly. We know that, it's not a secret.

I want to give a shout out to Aboriginal led and community run orgs out there who do an amazing…
22/ Minister Reynolds finished the Senate Estimates today with a challenge - can you do better?

Well, yes, Minister, we can. And do.

We think you need to take this off those who can't and give it to those who can, and do.

It's not enough listening. You must act.
23/ That doesn't mean leading the entire disability sector down a path that is predestined for failure, for more names to be read out, more photos of dead boys to be slammed on counters. That should not be your legacy.

We want all the data.
We want co-design.
24/ And we want you to truly LISTEN, listen to disabled people and families instead of using government spin to cover up plans which are not to benefit us, but government.

I want you to think about your own biases and your rhetoric and how wildly offensive it is to us.
25/ Not one of you, not once, ever argued for the rationing of Medicare on the basis that sick people should be supported less because they are too 'high functioning' or conversely 'low functioning' that the scheme intended to support them had done too good a job.

Not once.

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More from @criprights

4 May
I am very interested in some of the payments that the NDIA has apparently made to contractors.

Contractors you wouldn't expect. Nous Group, for an innocuously named 'digital strategy' of almost a million buckaroos. #RoboNDIS
2/ Nous Group Pty Ltd Consultancy Services Relating to Digital Strategy 1/07/2020 31/03/2021 $ 282,147.56 $ 772,200.00

Tim Orton. They have been running around WA doing this - and it is kind of interesting that they are also working for the NDIA, yes?…
3/ Digital strategies up the wahoo, @mariehjohnson.…

But here Tom Leeming, a former public servant we knew reasonably well in WA, spells out the reform agenda that they have been desperately trying to conceal with too many words.…
Read 15 tweets
4 May
Martin Hoffman asserts that WHODAS has always been used by the NDIA (correct) & that the question about our sex lives has always been used.

I have been in the scheme since its inception & I have never once, unless first raising it, had a planner ask about my sex life. #RoboNDIS
2/ Mr Hoffman is getting emotional during this hearing. I feel bad for him. He says that the decision is reviewable and appealable. He will not answer the question about the actual independent assessment being appealable.
3/ If a decision is made by the NDIA and is appealed at AAT, Hoffman is asked, would the input by the IA be considered? Yes, he says, because accuracy of information is always considered.

But the fact remains that the legislation says that we can appeal a decision made by NDIA.
Read 6 tweets
4 May
Senator @holliehughes is talking about families who put in the investment and getting gains. Recognising that this is a big tension between the Agency, autistic people and their representative organisations and parents - ABA.

There is little discussion about this.
2/ It's an uncomfortable tension. Most rights based disability organisations say that ABA is anywhere from abusive to undesirable and parents of autistic children say that it works, despite the massive costs. Most parents of autistic kids have mortgaged - or no - houses.
3/ As a parent carer as well as an autistic woman, I hold my own opinions, as do our peak autism organisations for autistic people. But that does not change the fact that we need to have this discussion - there is no way an overall reduction in funding will have good outcomes.
Read 9 tweets
4 May
I absolutely dislike it when men in suits say that the 'sector' (often meaning mouthy disabled women who do public appearances) is 'emotional'.

It is such a gendered and ridiculous concept. I am autistic. So is @MithenZoe & many others. One step removed from a Vulcan. #RoboNDIS
2/ In addition, we have decades of experience as advocates, parents, disabled people, workers & volunteers in the sector. Saying that we are 'emotional' about something that we actually know more than they do about is - offensive.

We base our opinion on facts & lived experience.
3/ When we talk about facts, we are talking about not just potentially skewed statistics but decades of academic research, the testimony of hundreds and thousands of disabled people & their families as well as anecdotal evidence. Of course we are angry about this; that is usual.
Read 5 tweets
3 May
This is - breathtaking.

In comments likely to rile some advocates, Reynolds pointed to data showing that since 2017 there had been a “significant drop” in people classified in the scheme as “high functioning” and a “significant increase” in those who were “low functioning”.
2/ “If you think about the implications of that, it’s quite alarming,” Reynolds said. “Is the NDIS actually making people less functional over time? So those are one of the many questions we need to have a look at … to work out what is happening and how it becomes sustainable.”
3/ I mean, there are three likely explanations, which the minister appears to have overlooked.

Outside of the fact that I am not sure who collects data of that description and how it’s collected.

One is that people aren’t getting into the scheme unless wildly disabled.
Read 5 tweets
3 May
Oh my god.

Minister Linda Reynolds just said that she has been pretty clear that there is a need for some form of functional assessment and that it is 'in the legislation'.
Senator Steele-John is saying she is pre empting the outcome on the outcome of the model. #RoboNDIS
2/ She is saying that 'we must have some form of functional independent assessments'. And that she is committed to that.

As I said, the Minister has picked a side. And it is not ours.
3/ She is saying that this is about us having fair, transparent, consistent decisions made and getting fairer outcomes.

There is a long, long silence, and Senator Steele John says very slowly, the entire disability community says this will not work.
Read 4 tweets

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