Aurora Community Care sued by NDIS Commission over death of Queensland man

A disability care provider has been taken to court by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission after a Queensland man was killed by a car while in its care.

The NDIS Commission commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court on Friday against Aurora Community Care Pty Ltd after the “tragic death” of the 38-year-old.

The 38-year-old was an NDIS participant who had an intellectual disability and was being cared for in his supported independent living home.

Aurora was responsible for providing two carers for the man at all times.

The NDIS Commission alleges that the NDIS participant was able to leave his home as he was not being monitored or supervised, “with one support worker asleep and the other in an adjacent room”.

After leaving his home, he was struck by a car.

The incident has been the subject of an “extensive investigation” by the NDIS Commission.

“It is alleged that Aurora failed to provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner with due care and skill, resulting in harm causing death,” the commission argues.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Tracy Mackey said the NDIS Commission would take strong action such as seeking civil penalties against providers.

“This is a tragic case which resulted in the death of a vulnerable person,” Ms Mackey said.

“The legal action that we have taken should send a very strong message to all providers and support workers working in the NDIS.

“The Commission expects every support worker and provider in the NDIS to act at all times with integrity, honesty and transparency and deliver safe and quality services to participants.

“If they fail to do so the Commission will act.”

Intended to be a no-fault insurance scheme for those with a severe and permanent disability, the NDIS has been long been the subject of controversy, with the cost to the government ballooning to $29.3 billion each year.

Since its inception, stories of fraudulent providers cashing in on payments have made headlines, prompting the government to launch the Fraud Fuison Taskforce in October 2022.

In its first year, the taskforce has begun investigating more than 100 cases worth $1 billion in payments as the government commits to stopping the rorts according to NDIS Minister Bill Shorten.

“We’re seeing participants, their families and supporters, as well as Agency staff all being more aware of potentially suspect provider behaviour and they are reporting it – knowing that every tip-off received by the Agency is assessed,” Mr Shorten said.

“Anyone looking to exploit the Scheme – at the expense of Australians living with disability – should be warned. We have cracked down on fraud so if you run the gauntlet, you will be caught.”

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