Colin Barnett has warned of a funding black hole in the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme and the risk of it being exploited by profit-focused corporates.
The Premier said Australia’s political leaders were “being a bit cute” about the full cost of the insurance scheme.
He said the blowout was “way beyond what’s being talked about” and preparation for the full NDIS rollout was “progressing fairly slowly”.
“We know enough to know the final cost has blown out and that’s because of people using the service, the cost of delivery,” Mr Barnett said. “We don’t know exactly but it’s not marginal.”
A spokeswoman for Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter denied there had been a budget blowout.
But she confirmed the rollout of the full NDIS would be delayed in WA, despite it beginning in all other States and Territories in July.
After former disability services minister Helen Morton’s exit from State Cabinet last week, Mr Barnett said there would be no change of direction from the State Government on the NDIS.
He still wanted WA to administer delivery of its disability services, rather than outsourcing them to the National Disability Insurance Agency in Geelong like the other States.
Noting that the not-for-profit sector had run WA’s disability services for the past 25 years, he cautioned other States they were going into “uncharted…