Transcript by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

SKY News, PM Agenda with David Speers: Disability Care Australia, agreement for full scheme roll out in South Australia

Program: PM Agenda

DAVID SPEERS: Minister, thanks for your time. Explain to me why or the concept here and why you’re going with a full deal with South Australia. It would seem that the trials need to take place before you commit to this?

JENNY MACKLIN: We’ve always said that we wanted to deliver the full roll out of the national disability insurance scheme, Disability Care Australia. Of course, last December the Prime Minister and the Premier of New South Wales agreed that there would be a full roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme across New South Wales, and today we’re very pleased that South Australia has announced that they too will commit to the full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia right across South Australia. So it’s great news for people with disability in South Australia and of course also for the families of people with disability and carers, it’s a huge step forward.

DAVID SPEERS: This is going to see the Commonwealth fund 51% of the money, I think it’s $760 million, the State Government in South Australia, $723 million. Are you able to say where the money is coming from?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well we’ve made the same agreement with South Australia that we made with New South Wales just a few months ago, so we’ve made clear that for the first stage the launch of the national disability insurance scheme, the money of course was allocated in last year’s Budget. That’s around $1 billion, so we’ve already got that money ready to start spending from July this year. It will start in South Australia on the 1st of July for children. So for babies up to five years old, and then we’ll progressively increase the age, and as a result of today’s agreement we’ll see the full roll out of around 33,000 people with disability in South Australia by 2018.

DAVID SPEERS: One of the big concerns when you talk about ages, one of the concerns about this whole NDIS has been at the upper end, where it cuts out. At the moment, 65 and over you can’t access the national disability insurance scheme. Is that up for some negotiation at all?

JENNY MACKLIN: No we’ve agreed with the states and territories and now the legislation is through the federal parliament, that the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, will be available for people from birth through to age 65. We have however, agreed that if people are in the scheme and want to stay as part of DisabilityCare Australia as they get older, they’ll be able to do that and the Commonwealth will pay for those costs. But of course, it’s the case that for many people as they get older they’ll want to get services from the aged care system, just like when they get sick they’ll of course want to get support from the health care system. So that’s the way it will work for people as they get older.

DAVID SPEERS: And just finally Minister, how are you going on the other states, you’re not yet over the line with quite a few of them. How are the negotiations progressing?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well, we of course will start the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, here in Victoria on the 1st July down in Geelong, in the Barwon region. It’s great news for Geelong because of course there are 5000 people with disability and their families who will start to benefit from July. But I would say to the Victorian Government, now’s the time to agree. New South Wales have shown leadership and agreed, as has the South Australian Premier. It’s really time for the Victorian Premier to step up and show leadership and sign on to the full roll out of the national disability insurance scheme. It really is the opportunity for the new Premier to do that tomorrow.

DAVID SPEERS: All right, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Disability Reform, thank you for joining us this afternoon.