Locals lend their voice to a National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme was the hot topic at a community forum hosted by Member for La Trobe Laura Smyth.
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, joined Ms Smyth in Ferntree Gully to talk with people with disability, their families and carers, local service providers and advocacy groups about this exciting reform.
The Prime Minister announced the Australian Government’s support for the fundamental reform of the system of care and support for people with disability through a National Disability Insurance Scheme following the release of a Productivity Commission report into the issue in August this year.
“It’s clear that people in the Dandenong Ranges strongly support reform of disability care and support. They support our efforts to get on with the job of laying the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Ms Macklin said.
“And that’s exactly what the Gillard Labor Government is doing.”
Ms Macklin updated participants on the progress to lay the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“The Commonwealth, states and territories are putting our shoulders to the wheel on this one. We’ve all agreed to deliver the foundations for a scheme by mid-2013.
“This is a year ahead of the timeline set out by the Productivity Commission.”
Foundation reforms need to be delivered to enable the launch of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. They include a common assessment tool to determine eligibility for support, national quality standards and a strategy to boost the disability workforce.
“Getting this work underway is an essential step towards delivering the kind of care and support that Australians expect for people with disability, their families and carers.”
Ms Smyth said she was pleased with the interest local residents had shown in the NDIS and was determined to keep the momentum going.
“The strong attendance at today’s forum is testament to the local community’s support for fundamental reform of disability care and support,” Ms Smyth said.
“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will mean better support for people with disability, their families and carers here in Ferntree Gully and right across my electorate.
“It means people with disability having more control over the support they receive, and being able to access care that meets their needs – not just whatever is available – so they can participate in school, work and the community to their full potential.”
Ms Macklin and Ms Smyth were joined by other guest speakers, including James O’Brien, Victorian State Coordinator for Every Australian Counts, and local disability advocates Les and Adam Cope
Adam Cope welcomed the progress the Commonwealth, state and territory governments had made since the Prime Minister released the Productivity Commission’s report.
“With an NDIS I could be far more independent and secure. What the name implies is Insurance, but the ‘I’ means much more than that. For me the ‘I’ means independence, integration and involvement,” Adam said.
Ms Macklin thanked the community for their enthusiasm and commitment to disability reform.
“The current system of disability care and support is letting people with disability, their families and carers down.
“We want to see people with disability receive the kind of care and support Australians expect for them – and we want all Australians to have confidence they’ll get the helping hand they need if something happens to them or to a loved one.
“This is a true Labor reform. We’ve always been about making sure no Australian is left behind, and about making sure everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.
“That’s exactly what a National Disability Insurance Scheme will mean for people with disability, their families and carers.”