Mr DICK (Oxley) (12:12): We just heard a lot of rubbish from the member of Herbert saying the NDIS is important; the NDIS should be treated with respect. What he should be doing in this chamber is apologising to the tens of thousands of Australians who are being short-changed by his government. Enough of the platitudes, enough of the wishy-washy language and hushed tones, how about you start apologising to the tens of thousands of Australians who are being ripped off by this LNP government? It is not good enough. We know when he says,
'It's not about money,' he's kind of right because we know there is a $4.1 billion underspend.
An honourable member: It is a $4.6 billion underspend.
Mr DICK: We have a $4.6 billion underspend for some of the most vulnerable Australians. So don't come in here, member for Herbert—through you, Madam Deputy Speaker—and start saying 'it's important' and 'we value the NDIS' and 'it's the Australians who need it'. Yes, they do, so just start funding it.
The federal government underspend on NDIS has been commented on a lot. I want to read a couple of quotes into the record. This is from the Liberal minister for New South Wales on disabilities:
I want to make sure that money doesn't sit in a bank account offsetting the Commonwealth's budget, which is what it's doing. … I want to see it improving the lives of people.
In an extraordinary attack, the New South Wales government has argued the $1.6 billion underspend on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was being used to prop up a budget surplus. So all those coffee cups you see with 'Back in Black'—which have now been hidden away—is this rotten government not spending the money. Don't take it from me; don't take from the shadow minister; take it from the New South Wales Liberal Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services. If you're not going to start listening to the clients, the tens of thousands of Australians who have been ripped off, how about you talk to your Liberal colleagues?
Because they're blowing the whistle on this. The last budget revealed a $1.6 billion underspend in the NDIS, which boosted the federal government's bottom line for the 2019-20 financial year. How dare those opposite come in here and say they're funding the NDIS. How dare you come in here wanting to be complimented and patted on the back for the shameful job that you're doing!
Mr Thompson interjecting—
Mr DICK: Look, they're now feigning innocence and saying, 'No, I didn't say anything at all.' I will attack every single member of this rotten government that is holding to ransom some of the most vulnerable Australians— and he's laughing now, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Mr Thompson interjecting—
Mr DICK: Now he's interjecting, saying that this should go on social media. I'll tell you what I will put on social media: the record of my local residents that the member for Maribyrnong has come to my electorate—I'll tell you how good your minister is: I've written to him three times—three times—and guess how many times he's responded to me? Zero. How about you put that in your pipe and smoke it and take it back there. And if the minister or his minions are watching today, please answer the correspondence on behalf of my residents. The member for Maribyrnong came to my electorate, one of the first things he did after the election, and met with dozens and dozens of parents who are struggling under your scheme. So we followed that up, but time after time it has been ignored by this government. Well, I'm sick of it and so are the residents in my electorate. I want to read into the record the story of Ethan Boyd. Ethan is an 18-year-old who suffers from muscular dystrophy and requires a wheelchair full time. He required a repair to his wheelchair in January 2018 and was funded an emergency payment. He had issues uploading the paperwork—don't get me started on the paperwork today, Madam Deputy Speaker—onto the online portal, and once he made contact he didn't hear back from them.