04 February 2021
In 2020, a landmark federal court ruling found that it was possible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to “use NDIS funds to access specialised sex worker services if it was deemed reasonable and necessary.”
However, yesterday, on a radio interview, the Minister for NDIS said the coalition would introduce legislation to parliament to impose a ban on the court’s decision and deny people with disability access to sex worker services through the scheme.
We were very shocked and offended to hear Stuart Robert’s comments. We were also outraged by the language he used when he talked about his plan to change the NDIS Act.
The language he used, and his comments were offensive, derogatory, and utterly unnecessary: “if states and territories wish to fund prostitutes, they can pay for it themselves”, he said.
Sexuality is central to the human condition and sexual rights are human rights. As the peak organisation advocating for people with disability from multicultural backgrounds, we believe all NDIS participants should be provided appropriate supports to experience, express and enjoy their sexuality.
In addition to the Minister’s comments not being in line with the recent federal court ruling, they are also against the principles set out in the NDIS Act and Australia’s commitment to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
We would urge the Minister to read our joint position statement, where we call for a rights-based framework for sexuality in the NDIS. We would also encourage him not to let his personal views determine what is “reasonable and necessary” for NDIS participants.
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