La­bor will help dis­abled

Kwinana Courier - - News - By Madeleine King MP

A Shorten La­bor Gov­ern­ment will re­move the Lib­er­als’ ar­bi­trary staff cap on the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Agency, free­ing it to make the best long-term de­ci­sions about how to de­liver qual­ity ser­vices to Aus­tralians with a dis­abil­ity.

The staff cap is a relic of Tony Ab­bott’s hor­ror 2014 bud­get. Last year the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion rec­om­mended it be scrapped.

The roll­out of the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme is cur­rently be­hind sched­ule – the equiv­a­lent of more than 46,000 peo­ple miss­ing out on the scheme.

On July 31, more than 100 peo­ple packed Gary Hol­land Com­mu­nity Cen­tre for an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion I spon­sored on the scheme, which was rolled out from July in Rock­ing­ham and from Au­gust in Kwinana.

These lo­cal peo­ple queried why they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­lays and dif­fi­cul­ties with the scheme. Staff of the agency took ques­tions and in­di­vid­u­ally met with res­i­dents. It was the big­gest ses­sion held in Perth to date. It was a valu­able ex­er­cise for lo­cal res­i­dents and I am grate­ful to the staff for pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion and tak­ing ques­tions.

The roll-out is a big deal for the 39,000 West Aus­tralians with a dis­abil­ity who are ex­pected to join the scheme by next year. Par­tic­i­pants in the ses­sion were told that so far, 4092 have joined the NDIS – 1804 for the first time.

While I am a strong sup­porter of the NDIS, I be­lieve the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment must pro­vide more re­sources for the agency. Plans for a Rock­ing­ham NDIS shopfront in 2019 should be brought for­ward.

The NDIS is a great project, but lo­cal peo­ple are wor­ried by de­lays and dif­fi­cul­ties with the new sys­tem.

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