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Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Page: 1926

National Disability Insurance Scheme Committee

Mr MURPHY (Reid) (15:05): My question is to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform. Will the minister update the House on the government's plan for a fairer Australia for people with disability, their families and carers.

Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (15:05): I thank the member for Reid very much for that question and for adding his voice to the chorus of Australians calling for the introduction of a national disability insurance scheme. I am very pleased that it is likely that the bill to establish the National Disability Insurance Scheme will go through the parliament—through both the House and the Senate—by the end of next week.

This is a very important part of our plan to build a fairer Australia—an Australia that says that we do not think it is right for people with disability to be part of a cruel lottery that says that how much care and support you get depends on where you live or how you got your disability. One of the things that is very important in the legislation that is about to go through the parliament is that it will give the choice and control that people with disability are looking for, over the care and support that they need.

The legislation will make sure that we are able to start the National Disability Insurance Scheme from July this year. It will start for little children across South Australia, and for adolescents and young people in Tasmania, and it will start in the area of Geelong—we have the members for Corio and Corangamite campaigning very hard for that—and also right across the Hunter.

Here in the Australian Capital Territory, we will see the National Disability Insurance Scheme start in 2014, and I am very pleased to inform the House again that, as a result of the agreement between the Prime Minister and the New South Wales Premier, we now have a clear plan for the introduction of the full scheme of the National Disability Insurance Scheme right across New South Wales by 2018, something which people with disability and their families and carers are very, very pleased about.

In addition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, this government has also made sure that people with disability and carers have received significant improvements to their payments, and from 20 March, just next week, we will also see the next increase to both the disability support pension and the carer payment, of up to $35.80 a fortnight, a very important increase in the income support delivered by this government. This government is determined to do the right thing by people with disability and carers, delivering increased income support and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.