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Monday, 22 August 2011
Page: 8879

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (10:50): I rise to acknowledge the work of local residents from the Lindsay electorate involved in the Every Australian Counts campaign. I recently had the pleasure of attending five DisabiliTeas that were held in my local community to highlight support for a national disability insurance scheme. I wish to acknowledge the organisers of each of these events. Firstly, I wish to acknowledge local residents, Kevin Finlayson and Emma Husar—two dedicated community activists in my electorate—who facilitated the gathering of over 60 people in support of this campaign, including members and supporters of the Nepean disability social group. I acknowledge area manager Deb Emelhain and the staff at Lifestart Nepean who allowed me to meet some of the families who will benefit from an NDIS in the years to come.

I also recognise the team at Northcott Disability Services in Penrith led by Acting Regional Manager Hilary Smith. I thank them for providing me with the opportunity to hear the moving words of local mother Diana Jelovic, as she shared her experiences of having a child with autism. I also acknowledge the Jamieson branch of the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD), coordinated by Sarah Delaney and CEO Tim Walton. Meeting the clients and carers of this outstanding organisation gave perspective to the number of lives that will be touched by an NDIS. I also acknowledge the strong leadership and support of the Every Australian Counts campaign by AFFORD. Finally, I acknowledge Anne Bouboulas of the community care team at Anglicare Penrith who gathered around 30 of their hardworking staff members to raise awareness of this campaign.

These wonderful community events brought together people with disabilities, their parents, their carers and service providers, united in their desire to see a better future for people with disabilities in Australia. I am proud to be a part of a government that has put this important issue on the agenda. In recent weeks I have been even more proud to be a part of a government that is taking immediate action to lay the foundations for this massive reform following the release of the Productivity Commission's report.

The system we have today is not delivering the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with disabilities. An NDIS will provide individually tailored care and support to around 410,000 people in Australia with significant disabilities. This represents a significant reform that Australia needs to undertake to provide some of our most vulnerable community members with the opportunities they deserve to be able to reach their full potential and contribute to Australian society in the way we know they can. It will provide greater support and assistance to the unsung heroes of our community—the carers and families of people with disabilities.

I commend all the hard work of the Lindsay residents involved in the Every Australian Counts campaign. Your hard work to highlight this important issue has been truly outstanding and I am proud to say the Gillard government supports your vision for a better future for people with disabilities, their families and their carers. (Time expired)