Transcript by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Transcript, Interview with Spence Denny, 891 ABC Adelaide – Drive

SPENCE DENNY: Well, you would have heard today that the trial for the National Disability Insurance Scheme or Disability Care Australia got underway in South Australia today. Amanda Rishworth is Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers and I think, Amanda, you were at an event down at Glenelg this afternoon, weren’t you?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Yes, well I’ve been at a couple of events today. We had our first event down at Novita Children’s Services where we met with some of their clients and some of their workers to, I guess, launch the new scheme. And then down at Glenelg where there were a whole lot of community advocates and people with a disability, their families and carers that were celebrating after having advocated for so long the introduction of this new scheme.

SPENCE DENNY: I guess there are people who are celebrating because it basically gives people more power to make their own decisions. Is that the case?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Yeah, look, what it does is it actually provides individuals with an individualised plan that puts together resources, whether it’s support, whether it’s transport, whether it’s aids and equipment; puts together in a package that gives them control of how they spend it, where they get those supports from, where they get that equipment from. So it actually gives them control over how they get these supports and aids.

And importantly when the individualised plan is actually put together the question that is asked of these individuals is, what are your goals and aspirations. For many people they’ve never been asked that question before and they’ve been in different queues in different government departments or non-government organisations waiting for these services. So now this plan gets put together and they have the control of where they get these supports and services from.

SPENCE DENNY: Look, the criticism I’ve heard of the scheme in the past, and indeed today, is that it’s not going to apply to people who don’t have lifelong disabilities. Is that the case?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Well, look, what the scheme is really for is permanent and significant disability, and that is people who will be part of the scheme. That’s not to say that there isn’t continuing support for people that don’t qualify for the scheme, for example, mental health is part of the scheme, however if you don’t get accepted as part of the scheme, there will be still support available, and Disability Care Australia officers will actually be able to coordinate and refer for that support.

So it’s not like we’re saying, that’s it, if you don’t qualify for the scheme. But what we’re acknowledging is that previously it depended on how you acquired your disability, at what point it was diagnosed, rather than what support and how well you can function and how we can support that. So there will be people that don’t… that may not qualify for the scheme that will still continue to get support. And they’ll still be treated in the health system if that’s the most appropriate place for them to be treated.

SPENCE DENNY: So this is a two year trial in South Australia?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: No, this is the launch. So the launch starts today and it’s zero to five year old children will be brought into the scheme. Then what will happen is in mid 2014 that scheme will extend to 13 year-olds, and then by 2015 it will extend up until 14 year-olds. So all those children and young people will be covered, and then out to 2018 it will cover all those, about 33,000 people with a disability that will be part of the scheme of all age groups.

SPENCE DENNY: And for somebody who doesn’t completely understand whether or not it’s going to be applicable to them, how do they find out?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Look there’s actually My Access Checker that you can actually go online and actually look at whether or not you’d be eligible for the scheme. And that is available at But there’s also shop fronts now, and South Australia they’re in St Mary’s and Elizabeth. You can go to those shop fronts and actually talk to staff one- face to face. So you don’t have to- if you’re not au fait with the internet or feel much more comfortable talking to someone one on one, then you can certainly go to one of those shop fronts. And that is also available to people, or give them a call.

SPENCE DENNY: Amanda Rishworth just briefly while I’ve got you, are you still the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: I am still the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, and also Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Urban Water.

SPENCE DENNY: And that’s been added today?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Look the Environment part was added, before it was sustainability, but I’m now environment which is a broader remit.

SPENCE DENNY: And you will definitely recontest at the Federal Election?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Oh absolutely. I love my job, I like working for the people down south, and I look forward to – if they continue to support me – then I will contest the next election,

SPENCE DENNY: Amanda Rishworth, thank you.