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Media Releases

Media Release 18 Oct 2016







ACT NDIS shutdown must be reversed

A number of national and ACT disability representative and advocacy organisations are today calling on the Australian and ACT governments to immediately work together to reverse the shutdown of the NDIS in the ACT.

Despite welcome reassurances from Ministers, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has stated that there will be no new NDIS participants in the ACT because the estimate of 5,075 participants contained in the ACT NDIS Bilateral Agreement has been reached. Significant alarm is being experienced by people with disability who have been waiting many years to receive appropriate disability support and they need a clear statement that the scheme will continue to make plans with eligible NDIS participants.

Craig Wallace from People with Disabilities ACT (PWDACT) stated, “We welcome efforts to resolve this, but are appalled at the decision to cease offering plans to new participants. People were explicitly told that there was no linkage between when you entered the scheme and the access to support you got. We were never told it would become a triaged system. It reverts us back to the old irrational first come, first served model. The Federal Government needs to swiftly move to end this cap and communicate that to people with disability and families.”

“The NDIS was never intended to be a rationed system and this move by the NDIA goes against the principles of the Scheme”, said Fiona May, CEO of ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS).  “We are very concerned for people who are affected by this freeze.  We work with people with disability who because of the complexity in their circumstances have not yet applied but very clearly need NDIS support; we have other clients whose NDIS applications have been delayed for many months by the NDIA and who are now left wondering whether they will ever get the services they need; and a group who have been found eligible but do not yet have planning appointments.”

The disability organisations acknowledge that both the ACT and the Federal Government have stated that the NDIS is not a capped scheme and that action is being taken to bring in additional ACT NDIS participants.  However, they are extremely concerned that shifting responsibility and blame gaming is counterproductive to ending this crisis.

“This takes us back to the State and Territory / Commonwealth cost shifting and game playing around disability supports that were a feature of the old, broken disability support system,” said Mr Wallace.  “We will not accept this - politicians are morally and politically accountable to uphold the principles of the NDIS and act now to fix this.”       

Therese Sands, Director of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) said, “Halting access to the NDIS in the ACT has profound implications for people with disability across Australia.  It creates uncertainty in all jurisdictions if the NDIS will be shut down when estimates of the numbers of participants contained in NDIS bilateral agreements are reached.  The situation in the ACT must not become a precedent for other States and Territories.  We urge the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Christian Porter to quickly resolve this for people with disability in the ACT and people with disability across Australia.”


Media Contacts:

Craig Wallace 0413 135 731
Campaign Manager, People with Disabilities ACT (PWDACT)


Fiona May 0411 538 879

CEO, ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)


Therese Sands 0412 935 128

Director, Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia

Follow the Twitter hashtag #HandsoffourNDIS for the latest news.


MEDIA Release Aug 2, 2016

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is yet again incensed by the blatant discrimination the Government is dishing out to people with disabilities who are attempting to migrate to Australia.  

Suresh Rajan, NEDA President said: “We continue to see people and their families from all backgrounds being discriminated against because of illness or disability”.

Within the space of a week NEDA has become aware of two families facing deportation based solely on the disability of a child. “It is just heartbreaking” continued Mr Rajan.

“The fact that the migration act is excluded from our commitments to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (CRPD) is deplorable” said Mr. Rajan. “This policy impacts profoundly on families: last week it was the Tippett family, this week it is Biswajit Banik, his wife Sarmin Sayeed, and their 12-year-old son with autism, Arkojeet”.

“This family have lived in Australia for over 9 years. Dr. Banik is an academic at Monash University and Dr Sayeed is a GP; both have contributed greatly to the rich fabric of the Australian society”, stated NEDA CEO, Dwayne Cranfield. “They are being forced to leave Australia because of their son’s diagnosis of "mild autism", with the Government determining Arkojeet to be a potential financial burden to the Australian healthcare system.”

More on this story can be found in the below news articles:

“These heartbreaking stories of migration related disability discrimination are just the tip of the iceberg”, said Mr Cranfield, “unfortunately, they provide us with a glimpse into the systemic injustices faced by migrants with disabilities and their families when they attempt to navigate the Australian migration system”.      

“These families come to Australia with real dreams and aspirations, they work hard, pay their taxes, and contribute greatly to our local communities. And what do we do in return? We treat them unfairly and inhumanely all because we have a system that ‘measures’ disability through an outdated, arbitrary and discriminatory lens” stated NEDA President Suresh Rajan.

NEDA’s position in this regard is supported by Down Syndrome Australia. DSA President Angus Graham stated “It is has been our long-running battle to end this discrimination, and organisations like ours and NEDA will continue to bring this to the public’s attention and advocate for these people”.

NEDA strongly urges you to sign and share the Banik family’s petition, which can be found here:

For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on: 0413436001.


MEDIA Release Aug 1, 2016

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is again calling on the Australian Government to reform the health requirements with regard to immigration after yet another example has surfaced of a person with disability being denied residency status in Australia.


NEDA continues to see families being victimised based on their health and or disability status. “It is obscene that people are reduced to a formula’, stated NEDA CEO Dwayne Cranfield, ‘their humanity is not taken into account. The system has become so punitive, arbitrary and unfair’, continued Mr Cranfield.


This most recent example involves the Tippett family who moved to Australia from the United Kingdom around 5 years ago. Shortly after their arrival their ten-month-old daughter Sienna developed some irregularities with regard to mobility and has since failed to speak. Kai Tippett, Sienna’s father states that his daughter has no cognitive impairment and that her symptoms have no diagnosis, “Now at the age of five after seeing multiple doctors we still have no definitive illness or diagnosis. The government is refusing my daughter a visa based on an illness without definition”, said Mr Tippett.


Unfortunately, the Tippett’s situation isn’t an isolated case. People with disabilities are routinely denied various types of Australian visas because they do not meet the health requirement as stipulated in the Migration Act. The health requirement assesses disability through a health paradigm, often resulting in inaccurate and discriminatory categorisations.


“These ableist policies not only contradict Australia’s commitment to the human rights instruments, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they also have a profound impact on the lives of people with disabilities, and their families. In this case, it’s the Tippett family experiencing this discrimination first hand’, said Suresh Rajan, NEDA President.  


For more information in relation to the discrimination against people with disability in Australian Migration Law, please visit:


Additionally, please show your support to the Tippett family by signing and sharing their petition:


For further information please contact NEDA CEO, Mr Dwayne Cranfield

on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on: 0413436001.