Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 14083

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (12:51): Today I rise to speak on the NDIS, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The coalition strongly supports the recommendations of the Productivity Commission for an NDIS and has pledged to work constructively with the government to implement those recommendations as soon as possible. It is certainly high time the establishment of this scheme found extra funding, and it is up to us politicians throughout the House to support the scheme itself.

I believe that the complete implementation of the NDIS would be nothing short of a breakthrough for people with disabilities and for their carers—their carers are a very important part of the whole equation. As the Productivity Commission recognised, this implementation will require a high level of consultation and attention to detail which cannot be rushed without risking the scheme's success. We need to look at all aspects of the NDIS to make sure we get it right the first time.

Even though the Queensland state government has not been able to reach an agreement with the federal government, I highlight that they are still committed to a disability service. I hope that they can get their finances sorted out so that they will join us in committing to an NDIS for Queensland. As the scheme gathers momentum I am sure the Queensland government will introduce a scheme that is timely and effective. It could even work better than the national scheme if they get it right.

The establishment of this scheme highlights the need to get the nation's finances sorted out so that necessities like the NDIS can be established more quickly and without cuts to other sections of the economy. In light of this, the government has allocated only $1 billion for the first phase of the NDIS over the forward estimates rather than the $3.9 billion the Productivity Commission said was necessary. That is something that has to be sorted out as we go through this new bill.

That aside, I congratulate the Gladstone Regional Council on their allocation of funds to the audit of disability infrastructure throughout the whole of the Gladstone region. Care and support for those living with a disability and their carers require support from all levels of government, and I am pleased that all levels of government in Gladstone and Central Queensland are supportive of the establishment of a national support scheme. I congratulate all the workers and volunteers at the Gladstone Community Hub and throughout the rest of the community for doing such an amazing job in the area of disability support. I reiterate my commitment and that of the coalition to the establishment of the NDIS. The coalition believe that the Productivity Commission timetable on the establishment of the scheme is achievable with prudent government and good economic management. We still need answers to a few questions from across the table, but I am sure that, with everyone pulling together, these different areas can be sorted out.

There is another branch of the NDIS that I want to bring to the House's attention, and that is DANA, Disability Advocacy Network Australia. This is a body that sits outside the NDIS, and the Productivity Commission has recommended that they stay outside the NDIS. Its role is to safeguard people who might fall through the cracks of the NDIS, so to speak. DANA is an extension of the NDIS. It is a network of 60 agencies throughout the country. People can go to them for help if they feel they have missed out on the NDIS. So we should consider DANA as an important part of the NDIS when it comes to funding.