By Nic White In Canberra For Daily Mail Australia
Wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott has lashed out at Australians stealing from kids who need care by rorting disability insurance.
The 2022 Australian of the Year was launching The Field, a service matching disabled Australians to employers, alongside Anthony Albanese at Parliament House.
Mr Alcott was asked about fraud uncovered in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is being investigated by a $126.3 million taskforce.
‘They can go and get stuffed,’ he said, bluntly.
‘There are some dodgy people out there doing dodgy things, and the government has already commissioned the fusion fraud taskforce and that’s going to find people do the wrong thing.
Wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott has lashed out at Australians stealing from kids who need care by rorting disability insurance, during an announcement alongside Anthony Albanese
‘If you are watching this and you are doing the wrong thing, you are literally taking away from a neurodiverse kid getting care.
‘You are taking away someone with a high level of disability having a shower.
‘You are not taking away us having fast cars and stuff like that. That is not what it’s about. So remind yourself, if you are doing that, hey, you know what? I’m not going to try and do that anymore.’
Mr Alcott said although problems with fraud existed, the NDIS was a ‘bloody awesome’ scheme that helped almost 550,000 Australians.
‘I’m starting by saying the NDIS is bloody awesome. We commissioned the NDIS report four months ago, the first half is about how good the NDIS is,’ he said.
‘We talked about early intervention before. One of the things we found out about in this report, for kids with early intervention on the NDIS before the age of six have double the amount of friends as kids without.
‘I had no friends when I was five, I’ve still got goosebumps saying that. I would have loved to have had the NDIS, did you know that?
‘We don’t talk about the economic growth of it being involved in things like that. First and foremost, it is awesome, and we need to hear more stories about the good things that are happening.’
The 2022 Australian of the Year was launching The Field, a service matching disabled Australians to employers, alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, and Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth at Parliament House
Mr Alcott poses with the three politicians and several disabled workers he brought along to announce his new agency
Mr Alcott told reporters in Parliament House on Wednesday, alongside the prime minister and NDIS Minister Bill Shorten, that businesses needed help finding disabled staff.
He said although Australia was in the middle of a worker shortage, there were 500,000 people with disabilities looking for work.
‘The number one question I hear from employers is, I want to hire a barista or a lawyer with a disability, where do I find them?’ he said.
Mr Alcott agreed with Mr Albanese that politicians should take leadership in hiring disabled Australians, but shouldn’t have to disclose how many they had.
‘There are probably people with disability right here and you don’t know, because not all disabilities are physical,’ he said.
‘A lot of them are invisible, and it is not up to them to have to disclose to anybody about their disability.
‘They can be their selves, right? But we want to create cultures in this country where everybody feels like they can be their authentic self when they go to work, right?’
The federal Budget included a $126.3 million taskforce including federal police, the tax office and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, expected to reap $291.5 million over four years.
Some doctors have reportedly been billing dead people and falsifying patient medical records to lift their incomes, while others are making mistakes on claims.
Mr Alcott agreed with Mr Albanese that politicians should take leadership in hiring disabled Australians, but shouldn’t have to disclose how many they had
Other uncovered fraud included organised crime groups including the Hamzy gang in Sydney, were laundering million through the scheme.
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief Michael Phelan in August said intelligence found disabled Australians were being exploited by criminals.
He said crime syndicates were extorting, threatening with violence or even involuntarily admitting people to psychiatric wards to steal their NDIS entitlements.
Mr Phelan said the NDIS was more rorted than the Rudd-Gillard Government’s home insulation scheme, which was preyed on by dodgy operators.
As 15 to 20 per cent of the annual budget of almost $30 billion may have been misused, he estimated.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group