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Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Page: 2068

Senator McKENZIE ( Victoria ) ( 17:39 ): It gives me great pleasure to continue my remarks on this landmark piece of legislation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2013, on an issue that again has complete bipartisan support. When I was first elected and became a senator, a little over 18 months ago, one of the first people who came to see me in my new role was Millie Parker. Down in Victoria, she is a great local advocate for the NDIS. She was very passionate about ensuring its fruition. She got me on board very early. So I am very pleased to be here today speaking in support of this reform for those with disability.

It is a joint venture between governments state and federal—and obviously the territory governments, Senator Scullion. We want it to be a success. I would like to commend my own state government of Victoria, as the reforms that have been introduced in my home state by Minister Wooldridge in this area were highlighted right throughout the hearings as a way of moving forward and as a bit of a highlight in terms of how different states have gone about dealing with the issues of people with a disability. It is a joint venture between states. We want everyone to get on board and to ensure that their own communities are participating. We wish those who are hosting trial sites all the best in going forward.

One of the other issues that we had during the hearings was that, whilst this is the framework that outlines what we are going to do, there are a lot of draft rules that sit under this framework—on who is in, who is out, definitions, details et cetera—that will go to the functioning of this. For the committee to get a draft of those only on the final day of hearings, on Tuesday, 5 March, to have a bit of a look at prior to producing a report, was concerning. The government has indicated that potentially there is a lot more to come in terms of draft rules. It would have been nice, as a committee, to have been able to consider this issue as a whole. The coalition want the NDIS to be a success. We want the launch sites to go smoothly. We stand ready to work with the government in all jurisdictions to make the NDIS a reality. If we spend all this money, we need to be sure we end up with a better system.