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Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Page: 2304


Mr MITCHELL (McEwen) (13:55): I was pleased to join the Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, to talk about the National Disability Insurance Scheme at the Macedon Ranges community health centre last Thursday.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: There are people over there laughing, but let me tell you a true story. This is a letter from a 13-year old girl:

My name is Emma Norton. I was born with a disability

Opposition members interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: You might laugh about it but you should be quiet—

I speak for all people with a disability. I believe we are people who have feelings and dreams. We all have the right to help and support in Australia. Thanks for listening to me.

The minister was able to meet with all local people with disabilities—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: Laughing about it just shows how terrible you lot really are. The minister was able to meet with many people with disabilities, their families and carers, and local service providers and advocacy groups to discuss the NDIS and the process so far. The Leader of the Opposition says that the NDIS is an aspiration and puts it on the never-never timetable. This Labor government is getting on with the job of building an NDIS and it is time the Leader of the Opposition—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr MITCHELL: and those heckling over there while we talk about disabilities got on board with the Gillard government. We are genuinely committed to an NDIS. The Leader of the Oppositions needs to decide whether he is going to support it or whether he is just going to sit there and say no.