PRODUCTIVE MEET: Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan, Caringa Australia CEO Rachel Choy and NDIS Minister Stuart Robert.
PRODUCTIVE MEET: Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan, Caringa Australia CEO Rachel Choy and NDIS Minister Stuart Robert. Caringa

NDIS minister to visit after meeting Caringa CEO

THE Coffs/Clarence region is set to have a visit from the federal NDIS minister after a successful meeting with a local provider.

Caringa Australia CEO Rachel Choy met with NDIS minister Stuart Robert and Page MP Kevin Hogan in Canberra and returned with a commitment the minister would visit the region.

Ms Choy said the trip would allow Mr Robert to spend time with clients and their families to gain and "unfiltered view” of clients experience of the scheme.

As with any social reform of this magnitude, Ms Choy said all parties acknowledged there were still a number of issues to iron out and suggested annual plan reviews were one aspect which could be changed.

Ms Choy said they caused stress for participants and placed unnecessary burden on service providers.

"The Minister is supportive of reducing stress and indicated his intention to move to a three year NDIS planning cycle for participants. This is something that Mr Hogan also believes is achievable and will support,” she said.

Mr Hogan agreed that for a number of clients accessing NDIS services, yearly reviews were unnecessary.

"For people whose disability is one that can never improve, I strongly agree that we should not be doing yearly reviews.”

Ms Choy also stressed the importance of employment opportunities for those in the NDIS, noting that Caringa were the only local provider offering Supported Employment through its Australian Disability Enterprise.

She said Caringa had expressed concerns to the Minister that employment was one area which was falling through the cracks in the scheme.

Kevin Hogan said visiting the regions was "crucial” for ministers to gain an understanding beyond what was being said by "bureaucrats in a city or independent lobby groups”.

"Caringa is an example of how the NDIS is working on the ground with real people,” he said.