Transcript by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Doorstop interview Pinnacle inc, Ararat, Victoria

Location: Pinnacle inc, Ararat, Victoria


JOURNALIST: Welcome to Ararat today. What’s been the most important thing about your visit here today?

FIFIELD: Great to be here with Dan Tehan. The most important thing has been to meet with the parents of kids with disability. It has also been good to catch up with the providers such as Pinnacle and also visit the local age care facility as well. There is no substitute for meeting with people and hearing from them direct rather than getting something through a briefing note.

JOURNALIST: And what did they convey to you are some of the main issues of contention or concern?

FIFIELD: For parents of kids with disability they can’t wait for the NDIS to be rolled out nationwide. They are frustrated, quite rightly, with the fact that the state disability system currently rations individual support packages, it rations respite and that means that families are under more pressure than they should be. So it was a good opportunity for me to explain that the NDIS will be nationwide by 2018-2019 and also that within two or three months after negotiations with the State Government we will be in a position to advise how the rollout will happen in Victoria from the middle of 2016 through to 2018-19.

JOURNALIST: So what have you taken away from today, speaking with the parents?

FIFIELD: They have reinforced with me the importance of the NDIS. The importance of the additional $9 billion a year that the Commonwealth Government will be putting into disability through the NDIS at full rollout and that people with disability and their families who have a need, should be entitled to have that need met. The NDIS will be able to do that.

JOURNALIST: More specifically the respite, what about the respite? What do you make of, we’ve had some concern here about wanting sort of an expansion in respite, what do you have to say to that?

FIFIELD: The NDIS will enable the expansion of respite because both planned respite and emergency respite can be part of someone’s individual NDIS package. There will be much greater opportunity for respite with the NDIS.

JOURNALIST: So you being here today has been a reassure for a lot of people, that you’ve been able to provide them with information that they weren’t so sure about in the first place.

FIFIELD: That’s right. It was important for me to not only hear direct from parents, direct from families. But it was also a great opportunity for me to explain how the NDIS will roll out, what it will do and the fact that there will be very significant additional resources. That essentially you have a transfer of the current state responsibilities for disability to the Commonwealth through the NDIS and that we will go from essentially about $13 billion a year spent on disability support to $22 billion a year under the NDIS.

JOURNALIST: All right okay. Thanks.