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Speech to the National Disability Insurance Scheme rally

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Speech to the National Disability Insurance Scheme rally Posted on Apr 27, 2012

Good Afternoon. I thank you for the opportunity to briefly represent the view of the Coalition on the NDIS today.

We believe that the NDIS is a vital and indeed integral part of Australia’s disability support network going forward.

For too long, those that suffer with a disability have had to put up with the current disjointed system of disability assistance.

As we know, the level of support that a person with a disability receives can depend on a number of factors.

The end result is that many people with a disability are left without the assistance they need. There is particular concern for people with severe disabilities who need long-term care and those whose carers are no longer able to provide constant care and support. With an ageing population and a frayed patchwork of support for Australians with a disability there is a community consensus on the need to do better.

As we know The Productivity Commission has recommended that there be a new national system of support based on need rather than rationing, with the entitlement for support going to the individual or their family rather than to a service provider. The individual would be at the centre and in charge, able to pick the service provider of their choice. This is the intention of the Commission’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Coalition welcomed the Productivity Commissions report and has committed to introducing the NDIS as per the productivity Commission concept and timetable, when in Government, providing the budget is in surplus.

We have since committed to working in a bi-partisan way with the government on this issue. We have proposed a parliamentary committee chaired by both sides’ disability front bench representatives to oversee the implementation of the Productivity Commission model.

As Tony Abbott the Leader of the Opposition said: If we are going to maintain the momentum for this very important social and economic reform across three elections, if we are going to ensure that people aren’t distracted by the ordinary business of politics, we need a mechanism like this to make it happen in the most timely and responsible way.

In an increasingly partisan political environment this is something that both sides seem to agree on so we need to work together to ensure that a National Disability Insurance Scheme is implemented in Australia.

We owe it to the approximately 400,000 Australians who suffer from a disability and their carers and families.

It must happen, lets get on with it.

Thank You!