WA sex offenders should not be excluded from NDIS support, says Disability Services Minister
Sex offenders should not be prohibited from receiving National Disability Insurance Scheme funding when they re-enter the community, says WA Minister for Disability Services Don Punch.
His comments come after The West Australian recently revealed NDIS funding has been considered for at least 15 dangerous sex offenders, with money granted in several cases.
Those handed support include one rapist who bashed his five-year-old victim with a rock, another who launched brutal attacks on three different women he met in Northbridge, and a third who cut a hole in the clothes of one of his victims before assaulting her.
Victim advocates say the cases are examples of precious disability funds being “squandered” on dangerous sex offenders.
But speaking from Geraldton last week, Mr Punch said the insurance scheme should be available to all.
“If someone comes into the community and they have a disability — whether it’s a serious mental health issue or they need 24-hour support and supervision — that is what the NDIS is there for,” he said.
“All people who have a disability need to be able to access appropriate supports if they are going to live in the community.”
(The NDIS) is not about rewarding people . . . it is about actually supporting the disability so you can manage that disability as effectively as possible.
“Dangerous sexual offenders who choose to rape children and destroy many more lives every time they are released from prison are not deserving of this specialised assistance.”
But Mr Punch said the NDIS was not there to “reward” good behaviour, but instead aimed to help people with disability achieve their daily goals.
“(The NDIS) is not about rewarding people ... it is about actually supporting the disability so you can manage that disability as effectively as possible,” he said.
Mr Punch said NDIS support services could in some cases help offenders in their rehabilitation once they re-entered the community.
“For the people who need that level of support, it enables them to have the best chance of succeeding and it also enables them to have the best chance maybe of not reoffending,” he said.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails