Pauline Hanson disability video leaked, One Nation video mocking NDIS condemned
Disability advocates are calling for an apology from Pauline Hanson, leader of the One Nation party, following the release of a video that belittles the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The video, which forms part of the YouTube series “Pauline Hanson’s Please Explain,” refers to the NDIS as a “scam” and a “rort,” and contains offensive depictions of individuals with disabilities. People with Disability Australia’s President, Nicole Lee, described the video as “insensitively cruel,” and criticized the inaccurate and offensive portrayal of the disability supports provided under the NDIS.
This exploitation of individuals with disabilities for political gain is especially concerning given the high levels of abuse already experienced by this group. They are significant contributors to the Australian economy, generating over $2 billion annually and delivering a return of $2.25 for every dollar invested in the NDIS program.
Established in 2013, the NDIS provides financial assistance for necessary support services to individuals under 65 with permanent disabilities. It benefits over 550,000 Australians and is projected to require $50 billion annually by 2025-26. However, the Labor party has recently called for an independent review of the NDIS to identify the Coalition’s lack of attention to the project. The findings of the investigation are expected to be released to disability reform ministers by October 2023.
Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben Gauntlett, denounced the video as “reprehensible,” stating that using humor to target the disabled community for political purposes is divisive and harmful. Craig Wallace, Head of Policy for Advocacy for Inclusion, also spoke out against the video, emphasizing that it misrepresents the NDIS’s ability to provide temporary support to people. He called on political leaders and citizens alike to condemn the video.
The video’s portrayal of vulnerable individuals with disabilities on a day of love and reflection has sparked outrage, with one person denouncing it as particularly vile. Craig Wallace criticized the insinuation that people with disabilities were “scamming” the NDIS, highlighting their susceptibility to fraudulent schemes and exploitation by companies seeking to profit from their conditions.
Advocacy for Inclusion and People with Disability Australia have jointly demanded an apology and the withdrawal of Hanson’s video, but there has been no official response from her office yet.