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Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Page: 1584


Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (12:03): Before my comments were interrupted by other parliamentary business in the last session I was speaking about Britney and how after her school graduation last year she and her mother became in need of additional further support after school. Her mother works as a nurse and she needs more support hours so that she can look after Britney and provide for the rest of the family. Most of that support comes from the state, but it does highlight the need for the Prime Minister to stop her politically driven fights with the states and seek bilateral agreements as everyone needs to be on board to drive change and deliver for all those with disabilities such as Britney, Mitchell and their families.

Throughout this debate, the government has repeatedly suggested that they are the party of the NDIS because the NDIS represents Labor values. But I remind the parliament that abandoning those in need is not the policy of any political party. The coalition supported the work of the Productivity Commission. We supported the $1 billion in the last budget and the five launch sites, and the agreement for the New South Wales rollout, and we support this legislation. The Leader of the Opposition has also demonstrated his personal commitment to those with disabilities by dedicating the 2012 Pollie Pedal charity bike ride to Carers Australia; $540,000 was raised.

An economy well managed by the federal government can deliver the NDIS in the time frame, but not this government. They talk about their values with the usual sanctimony, but in the end their spending decisions have damaged the ability of this nation to have an NDIS on time, and they must be held to account. Talk is cheap; the NDIS is not, and it will fall to a better government to deliver—and that better government, I hope, will be delivered soon when the Australian people reject the Labor Party.

I thank those constituents of mine who have come forward to tell me of their circumstances and to impress upon me their needs. What I would say is that under Tony Abbott we want to deliver the change required, but because of the wasteful spending of this government there is now more spending on interest payments each year than would be required to fully fund the NDIS. This Labor government has spent beyond the means of this country, and their recklessness is now holding back a comprehensive and effective NDIS. To cover up their inability to fund this worthwhile and necessary NDIS, they have picked fights with state governments to develop a smokescreen and deceive the people of this country. Australians should choose a Tony Abbott led government at the election to get this job done.