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Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Page: 8722

National Disability Insurance Scheme


Mr CHEESEMAN (Corangamite) (14:56): 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 progress towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme? How will this fundamental reform help people with a disability, their families and their carers?


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (14:57): I thank the member for Corangamite very much for his question and for his advocacy for a National Disability Insurance Scheme—and particularly to see a launch of the scheme in his area in and around Geelong. I take this opportunity to also thank the member for Corio for his advocacy as well.

What both of these members know is that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is being built by this government, and we are very pleased that it is going to start in the area of Geelong. We know that a National Disability Insurance Scheme is very important—very important for people with a disability, very important for people who are caring for those with disabilities.

Mr Hockey interjecting

Ms MACKLIN: We are hearing interjections from the member for North Sydney, who can only say negative things about the National Disability Insurance Scheme. On this side of the parliament we know how important a National Disability Insurance Scheme is. That is why we asked the Productivity Commission to do the major inquiry that it delivered to us just one year ago. The Prime Minister released the report, and of course it showed that the system of care and support for people with disabilities in this country is broken, badly broken, and leaving people with disabilities and their carers to just wait and wait and wait—wait for a wheelchair, wait for a place in respite, wait for the care and support that they need. We are determined to end that wait. That is why, in the most recent budget, the Treasurer announced $1 billion to start the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

As a result of our commitment we will see the end of a cruel lottery that has existed for far too long right around this country—a cruel lottery that says to people with disability, 'It depends where you live and how you got your disability as to what level of care and support you will receive.'

I can announce to the House that, in the last fortnight, we have seen New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory agree to be part of the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. People who live in these parts of Australia will see this Labor government deliver a National Disability Insurance Scheme. Just like we delivered Medicare, this government will deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme. (Time expired)



Mr CHEESEMAN (Corangamite) (15:00): Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a supplementary question. How will this reform support people with a disability, their families and their carers in my electorate of Corangamite?


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (15:00): Once again, I thank the member for Corangamite, because it means a lot for people in and around Geelong in the Barwon region. Importantly, it will mean that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is real for 5,000 people with disabilities in the Barwon region. Then if you think about the carers and the families who have also been waiting far too long for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, this will end the wait for those 5,000 people.

In particular, the Commonwealth government will put an extra $190 million into the Barwon region alone. That $190 million will go to ensuring that there are extra services available and extra staff available in that area—and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the United Voice people who have been in the gallery today, the people who represent the disability workers who are doing such an important job.

This is a fundamental reform. It will make a difference to so many people in the Barwon region. Once again, I thank the member for Corangamite and the member for Corio for their advocacy.