NDIS conference organisers under fire for claims Bill Shorten would be keynote speaker

NDIS

Disability Minister Bill Shorten has referred an unofficial NDIS conference to the consumer watchdog over false claims he was to be the keynote speaker.

The National NDIS Review Conference was held in Canberra on Friday, with hundreds of delegates attending on the premise that Shorten would be a keynote speaker,

But Shorten had told the organisers back in February to stop using his name on the advertising material as he would not be available to attend.

With his name still on the organisers’ website, Shorten has now referred the matter to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“The minister repeatedly asked organisers to stop using his name to promote the event, and on the 7th of March reiterated to organisers that he would not be attending and asked them to update their promotional material to ensure attendees were informed,” the Minister’s office said in a statement.

“The minister has referred the matter to the ACCC to investigate if organisers displayed misleading conduct to hundreds of attendees from the NDIS and disability communities or breached any laws, as he is furious at the failure to inform prospective attendees that he was not attending.”

Delegate Marie Sabbagh, from Assist Ability Australia, said she came despite the high ticket price to hear Shorten.

“We weren’t made aware until this morning that Bill Shorten wasn’t going to be here,” she told 9News.

Peter Kartabani, from Safe Place SA, also said he had spent “thousands” to attend the conference on the premise that Shorten would be there.