An architect of major changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues to defend the abandoned reforms.
Stuart Robert was disability minister when controversial trials of independent assessments were extended.
The changes were universally opposed by the disability community and other major stakeholders.
But the proposed model was not scrapped until late last week, when the Commonwealth failed to secure support from the states and territories.
Mr Robert said the independent assessments were designed to address massive inequity in the NDIS.
He said the existing model allowed for someone’s postcode and socio-economic status to determine their support package.
His proposal would have seen all NDIS participants and applicants subjected to independent assessments.
However, trials of the overhauled assessment model exposed a series of major failures and flaws, and eventually the federal government’s own advisers recommended they not proceed.
Many disabled Australians were left deeply traumatised by the process.
Even still, Mr Robert rejected several opportunities to apologise for how the process played out.
He blamed public servants for leaking details of the changes and whipping up public debate.
“And that’s very sad because what was leaked had nothing to do with what government was going to do,” Mr Robert told ABC radio.
He is disappointed the independent assessment process has been ditched.
“I would like to see transparent processes continue to operate with the sector so everyone can make joint decisions,” Mr Robert said.
“The NDIS started on the bipartisan level and we can only continue to grow it on the bipartisan level with the sector involved.”