DisabiliTEA, National Disability Insurance Scheme
E & OE – Proof only
MICHAEL ROWLAND: We spoke to the Opposition’s Mitch Fifield a short while ago, now it’s the Government’s turn. Jenny Macklin is the Federal Minister for Disability Reform and she joins us now from Federation Square in Melbourne. Jenny Macklin, good morning.
JENNY MACKLIN: Good Morning.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Just getting to the heart of why these morning teas are being organised, do you worry there’s a general lack of awareness about what this scheme is about?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well there’s 1,700 of these disability organisation teas all around Australia today, and I think that demonstrates a fantastic capacity for people with disability, carers, families, and other members of the community to come together in support of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. There’s been great advocacy and today will be just another demonstration of peoples’ support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
MICHAEL ROWLAND: And for those people coming up to you today at your morning tea asking you where the money is going to be for the wider scheme, this is beyond the launch site, your funding, what is going to be your answer?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well of course we’ve allocated the first $1 billion in the budget which was just in May, and we’ll start spending that on people with disability from July next year. We can expect that there will be further allocations of funding in next year’s budget. We do understand that the current system of disability care and support is not good enough, it is under-funded, it is unfair, and we all have to make sure that we build a new National Disability Insurance Scheme. That’s why the Government allocated $1 billion in this year’s budget.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: How soon could we expect to see that funding?
JENNY MACKLIN: We’re starting to do all the planning to get it on the ground from the 1st of July next year, so it will start operating in the five different parts of Australia that we’ve agreed with the states and territories. Here in Victoria, that will mean down in the Geelong area.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: And can you be more specific about funding for the wider scheme? I know the Government is committed to it, as you said, but a lot of people are very interested in this and are going to rely very heavily on money beyond those launch sites, which many would agree are a very good start. Can you be specific about the funding timeline beyond that?
JENNY MACKLIN: As I just mentioned, we do expect that there will be additional funding mentioned in next year’s budget, we’ve only just…
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Is that for the full scheme?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well we’ll have to wait until next year’s budget, but we’ve just allocated $1 billion. We’re doing all the planning to get that out on the ground from the first of July next year. There’s an enormous amount of work going on right now with people who have got a disability, with carers, family members, all the service providers on the ground. So all of that is happening as we speak, and of course we know how important it is to also do the planning for the full roll-out, and that work is taking place.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: And when you do come to announce the extra funding, whatever amount it may be, in next year’s budget, are you confident that as things stand at the moment that you will have the support of the states and the territories?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well we’ve certainly got the support of five different jurisdictions right now to roll it out, in part of New South Wales, here in Victoria, Tassie, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. We want to build a National Disability Insurance Scheme. That’s what people with disabilities want, that’s what their carers and families want, it’s what people have been advocating for. This Government supports the building of a national scheme, and that’s what is so exciting about this whole area right now in Australia.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Okay, Jenny Macklin in Melbourne, thank you very much for joining us this morning.
JENNY MACKLIN: Thank you.