Today is International Day of People with Disability. I join my Labor colleagues in celebrating the achievements of people with disability. I want to pay tribute to all the people with disability who, today, are speaking out about the society they want and need.

Today I think about all the people with disability who fought so hard to establish the NDIS under a Labor government and how they have been comprehensively let down by this Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government. People with a disability fought for an NDIS that would let them live an ordinary life. Instead of this, they’ve stepped into a bureaucratic nightmare.

This year, a young man named Pedro Silva, who lived in my electorate, died at the age of 24. Pedro had muscular dystrophy, which severely affected his movement and his mental and physical wellbeing. He applied through the NDIS for a new wheelchair because his old one was causing him severe pressure injuries. Although the new chair was supposedly approved, the NDIS process for approving new equipment left him waiting. Repeated appeals to the NDIA and lobbying efforts to ministers failed to produce his chair. Finally, 10 months later, an NDIA delegate approved his plan. That was on 28 August this year. Unfortunately, Pedro had died at 11.30 the night before. In the last months of his life, he and his family were unnecessarily put through pain because this government just doesn’t care.

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