Re­in­stat­ing taxi sub­sidy big lift for NDIS par­tic­i­pants

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE Queens­land Govern­ment has stepped up to tackle one of the many thorns in the side of the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme ( NDIS) – trans­port.

The de­ci­sion to re­in­state the Taxi Sub­sidy for peo­ple ac­cess­ing the scheme sig­nals the re­moval of a sig­nif­i­cant bar­rier to so­cial par­tic­i­pa­tion for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

Sto­ries of peo­ple un­able to ac­cess vi­tal ser­vices, ac­tiv­i­ties and ther­a­pies be­cause they, quite sim­ply, can’t af­ford to get them­selves there have plagued the roll­out of the scheme. Long- awaited plans that meet gen­uine – and of­ten des­per­ate – needs, left dan­gling just be­yond reach.

Hav­ing ad­dressed a stum­bling block for the NDIS and a source of unimag­in­able stress for many scheme par­tic­i­pants in Queens­land, our hope now is that the Queens­land Govern­ment will go a step fur­ther and cre­ate a fast- track for peo­ple, pre­vi­ously deemed el­i­gi­ble, to re- en­ter the Taxi Sub­sidy Scheme.

There is also a com­pelling ar­gu­ment for both the Queens­land and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments to con­sider a more flex­i­ble per­sonal trans­port sub­sidy scheme, so that peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity could choose a taxi, rideshar­ing ser­vice or com­mu­nity bus ser­vice, de­pend­ing on in­di­vid­ual needs. We need to seek in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to ad­dress fun­da­men­tal kinks in the scheme.

The rein­tro­duc­tion of the Taxi Sub­sidy Scheme is a prac­ti­cal first step. All gov­ern­ments must now work to­wards a na­tional trans­port so­lu­tion that will keep the NDIS mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. AN­DREW DONNE, En­deav­our Foun­da­tion CEO.

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