Age discrimination complaints on NDIS age cap taken to the United Nations

When the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolled out 10 years ago, Peter Freckleton had hopes it would change his life for the better.

Mr Freckleton has had a life-long disability, which began after contracting polio when he was just six. 

“I was paralysed totally. I finished up with two both legs paralysed and for the rest of my life, I had to wear leg braces and use calipers and use a wheelchair,” he said. 

But he was rejected for the scheme, because he was over the age limit.

Peter Freckleton’s lawyer Sheetal Balakrishnan, from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, said the only way to fix the problem was to remove the age cap written in NDIS legislation.

“That power is only held by parliament, so Peter doesn’t have any legal remedy within Australia, which is why he’s complaining to the UN,” she said.

Once the UN committee receives Mr Freckleton’s complaint, the Australian government will be asked to respond, and its position will be considered by the committee.

“The UN committee will provide a written decision about whether the Australian government has discriminated against Peter and whether [it] has breached Peter’s human rights under the convention,” Ms Balakrishnan said.

Sheetal Balakrishnan also appeared on ABC TV and ABC News radio to discuss Mr Freckleton’s case.

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