BUREAUCRATIC NIGHTMARE

Bureaucratic challenges in “interfacing” the National Disability Insurance Scheme with corresponding care services have resulted — due to inaction — in a woman spending 15 months in a hospital bed.

The Australian ($) has today revealed the case of Julie Hermans, whose ignored NDIS request for accommodation support has meant staying in hospital since October 2016. Her case highlights the unfinished work of the NDIS design and how it fits with existing services such as health and aged care.

The Productivity Commission last year warned state and federal governments to keep services that do not fit into the disability scheme, although unclear boundaries, particularly around the loss of advocacy funding, has meant there is little that any level of government can do to enforce this.

“The interface between the NDIS and other disability and mainstream services is critical for participant outcomes and the ­financial sustainability of the scheme,” the commission said. “Governments must set clearer boundaries at the operational level around ‘who supplies what’ … and only withdraw services when ­continuity of service is assured.”

After contracting atypical ­Guillain-Barre Syndrome and becoming quadriplegic, Hermans has been forced to pay $60 a day to stay in Murwillumbah District Hospital in northern NSW. Hermans has now had to consider aged care facilities at the age of 51, although none in her area could reportedly support her high-care needs.

DATE FIGHT

The Greens are planning a major new national campaign to change the date of Australia Day, a date often referred to as Invasion Day or Survival Day by many Indigenous Australians.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Greens leader Richard Di Natale will list changing the date as one of his top priorities for 2018, meaning the Greens will follow Triple J, Indigenous hip-hop duo A.B. Original, and local councils such as Yarra, Darebin and Fremantle as publicly denouncing the date.

“All Australians want a day on which we can come together and to celebrate our wonderfully diverse, open and free society — but January 26 is not that day,” Di Natale told Fairfax Media on Sunday. “It’s time that we stop papering over an issue that for 200 years has been so divisive and painful for so many of our citizens.”

The move is expected to face significant resistance from the Turnbull government, which controversially stripped the City of Yarra’s citizenship powers following the local government’s decision to no longer celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

TRAIN IN VAIN

Sydney is set for yet another day of train chaos as the re-opening of Hornsby station, staff shortages and “ongoing rostering issues” have already led to 36 peak-hour services being cut around the city.

Following a turbulent week for the city’s public transport system, The Daily Telegraph ($) reports that staffing resources have been diverted from across the Sydney Trains network to assist in the re-opening of Hornsby. Sydney Morning Herald are also reporting that staff figures have stagnated over the past four years, despite a surge in patronage.

The Hornsby facility, used for both passenger and freight rail services, has been closed for two weeks in a $120 million upgrade that should result in faster turnaround times and has been described by Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins as “open heart surgery” on on one of the most “complex” junctions in Australia.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT

“I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions. You go do what I did. Bye bye” — Bernard Tomic, responding to journalists asking him where he’d go after failing to qualify for the Australian Open singles draw yesterday.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Greens plan major new Australia Day date change campaign

Dark web allows drug dealers to ship narcotics at will as police struggle ($)

Amazon won’t kill Aussie retailers but fast-moving evolution might

Trump supporters tried to arrest London’s mayor. People laughed

The Top End and Tasmania make The New York Times’ top ’52 Places to Go in 2018

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney: NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams launches the NSW Australia Day Council program with singer John Paul Young and presenter Grant Denyer.

Canberra: Written submissions due for Jacqui Lambie’s High Court case.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Vaping may have its drawbacks but it’s a lifesaver for manyColin Mendelsohn (The Australian $): “The policies of the department and the Australian Medical Association are both in stark contrast to those of their British counterparts, Public Health England and the British Medical Association. Although claiming otherwise, both ignore much of the evidence. They emphasise the small potential risks of vaping but discount the huge potential benefits to public health.”

The ‘s—hole’ that changed the worldMonica Hesse (Sydney Morning Herald / Washington Post): “S—hole” stopped us in our tracks at first, before we realised we had been off-roading it since the ‘very fine people’ Nazi incident of Charlottesville. Or maybe since ‘grab ’em by the (kitty)’ during the campaign. There was a time at which likening Mexican immigrants to ‘rapists’ would have been a last straw — but behold, we have discovered an endless straw supply with which to keep sucking things down.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

Inside Tracey Spicer’s operation to expose the sexual harassment scourgeBhakthi Puvanenthiran: “You may know that Tracey Spicer has endured death threats after becoming a constant public face for the investigation, but Spicer has also personally and single handedly combed through each query from alleged victims. They now number over 1000 and range from bullying to harassment and abuse.”

Have dodgy pollies really cost Australia $72 billion?Meg Watson: “This week The Australia Institute made headlines with a report claiming the nation’s corruption (or perception thereof) has cost us $72 billion since 2012. We put the question to TAI’s research director Rod Campbell: are we really that dodgy?”

Does Elon Musk hate free markets?Jason Murphy: “Tesla has chosen a different path. Its approach is more than a few mergers and begins to look like full vertical integration, where a company owns its upstream suppliers and its downstream distributors.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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