Thousands rally nationwide April 30th
In organised events in every capital city around the country on April 30th, thousands rallied in support of a national insurance scheme for people with disabilities.
While politicans from all parties attended and spoke in favour of having a scheme, it is not yet legislated, and so there is still a long way to go before it is a reality. Here is what the major party leaders said:
Prime Minister, Julia Gillard:
“Today I can announce that in the May Budget, my Government, your Labor Government will fund our share for the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme”.
Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott:
“I am sometimes accused of being Dr No… When it comes to the NDIS, I am Dr Yes”.
In the budget that was delivered just over a week later on May 8th, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan announced $1 billion over four years to kick start the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- $342.5 million over three years from July next year for individually funded packages for people with significant and permanent disability.
- $154.8 million over three years from July next year to employ Local Area Coordinators to provide an individualised approach to delivering care and support to people with a disability.
- $58.6 million over three years from July next year to assess the needs of people with a disability in the launch locations.
- $122.6 million over four years to start preparing the disability sector for the new way of delivering disability services.
Here are newspaper articles about the scheme and the rallies from April 30th:
30 April, 2012 3:14PM AWST
Hundreds rally for disability support in Perth
By Brooke Bannister
Hundreds of people marched through Perth’s CBD today to protest for additional disability support from the Federal Government.
Rallies were held in capital cities across the country today to highlight the need for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Soon after the nation-wide rallies, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the Federal Government will fund part of the NDIS, which will start from July next year.
Ms Gillard says the current system isn’t good enough and funding for the scheme will be included in next week’s federal budget announcement.
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addressed the rally in Perth while Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an appearance at the Sydney gathering and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon spoke at the Melbourne rally.
People with disabilities and their carers began the rally in Hay Street Mall, marching through the city and finally gathering in the Supreme Court Gardens.
One of those at the rally was full-time carer Kat Shuard who looks after her son with severe autism.
“I’m sick and tired of being treated like a bludger,” she said.
“I won’t have superannuation, I’ll never own a house, I have little worth to the community and I had a very good career but I gave it all up for my son and it’s time to stop exploiting family love.”
Ms Shuard says she underwent a bilateral mastectomy six days ago because she couldn’t afford to have the time away from her son to undergo chemotherapy.
“This is a picture of me one hour out of surgery after having both of my breasts cut off, I had abnormal lumps that were inconclusive and I couldn’t take the risk of losing custody of my son so I had to, at the age of 33, decide to get both my breast cut off so I can continue my care role,” Ms Shuard said.
The Productivity Commission recommended a NDIS in July last year but both major political parties were slow to offer their full support for a scheme until today’s national rally.
NDIS on twitter
- Some of our ACDNSW members up close and personal with our PM @JuliaGillard today at the Sydney #NDISRally #NDIS http://t.co/f61fFR3O
ACDNSW | 43 secs ago
- RT @EveryAustralian: Sarah Johnson: more people in work and fewer in hospitals, jails with #NDIS Bris #NDISrally Bris
ArabellaDee | 1 min ago
- RT @JuliaGillard: From the middle of next year the #NDIS will be launched at select sites around the country. By mid 2014 it will serve 20,000 Australians. JG
AdelaideBook | 4 mins ago
- RT @jimmyraynes: RT if you think #qanda should be paying more attention to the #NDIS than to Clive Palmer this evening. #AusPol
MikeAHemingway | 4 mins ago
- RT @612brisbane: Want to get the full details on how the #NDIS will work? @reblev is talking to Queensland Co-ordinator, Fiona Anderson.
davisjodie70 | 11 mins ago
These Twitter search results are generated automatically. The ABC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Visit Twitter to correct or update this entry.
Budget to boost disability services
April 30, 2012 – 4:58PM
Thousands rally for disability scheme
Federation Square was overflowing with support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
THE NATIONAL Disability Insurance Scheme will become a reality a year ahead of schedule with 10,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities set to receive support from four locations across the nation from July 2013.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced today that funding will be set aside in the May 8 federal budget to launch the national disability scheme a year ahead of the schedule set out by the Productivity Commission.
”Today I can announce that in the May budget my government … will fund our share for the national disability insurance scheme,” Ms Gillard said.
”Disability doesn’t discriminate and it could happen to anyone…Promise me you won’t stop campaigning and I will promise you we will not stop working on this.”
She made the announcement at an ”Every Australian Counts” rally of almost 2000 people at Sydney Olympic Park, with similar events held in capital cities across Australia.
The scheme has attracted bipartisan support with Opposition leader Tony Abbott declaring in a speech this month that he would be ”Doctor Yes on this issue.”
But shadow treasurer Joe Hockey appeared to question the Coalition’s commitment to the Medicare-style system – tipped to cost $6.5 billion annually when the scheme is fulling functioning – saying the government was unable to fund the NDIS properly.
”It’s the government that says it is going to fund it in full now, so let’s find out,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.
”For someone on $67,000 a year, it’s roughly an extra $1,000 a year in tax. Are Australians prepared to pay that? Well, let’s find out from the Australian people but if the Government lived within its means, if the Government wasn’t borrowing $100 million a day to fund a range of initiatives including the National Broadband Network then there would be the money available. The problem is Labor is addicted to spending.”
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell embraced Ms Gillard’s announcement, saying that ”delivering the national disability insurance scheme should be above politics.”
NDIS campaign director John Della Bosca said it was a policy idea ”whose time has come”.
The number of people who will be able to access the scheme is expected to double in 2014 to 20, 000.
Ms Gillard said she was ”stepping up” to the federal government’s responsibilities to those Australians with a disability and urged the states to do the same with a commitment to kick in their share of funding.
”For the first time in Australia’s history people with significant and permanent disability will receive lifetime care and support, regardless of how they acquired their disability,” she said, The Gillard Government has already committed $0 million for the planning stages of the NDIS and while
Ms Gillard would no elucidate the exact figure to be revealed in the budget, she said it would be a significant step towards seeing the scheme to fruition.
A new National Disability Transition Agency will be established to run the delivery of care and support to people with disability, their families and carers in the four select locations, she said, ”We want Australians with disability to start benefiting from this fundamental reform as quickly as possible,” she said.
The launch locations will be determined in consultation with the states and territories.
An estimated 411,000 people under the age of 65 are expected to access the scheme by 2018.
NDIS welcomed but cost questions linger
Lema Samandar and Adam Bennett
April 30, 2012 – 5:59PM
The realisation of the long-awaited National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been widely welcomed, although questions have been raised about how it will be funded.
The scheme, proposed by the Productivity Commission, will cover many of the costs of people born with disabilities or who become incapacitated later in life.
At a rally in Sydney on Monday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced funding would be set aside in next week’s budget to launch the NDIS but she wouldn’t say how much.
“People with disabilities have waited a long time for change,” Ms Gillard said.
“We will be working with states and territories to get this done.”
The announcement was made at the NDIS Make it Real rally of almost 2000 people at Sydney Olympic Park, with similar events held across Australia.
From the middle of next year, select launch sites will begin serving 10,000 people with a disability – “a full year sooner than the Productivity Commission suggested”, Ms Gillard said.
By mid-2014, about 20,000 people will have been served.
However, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said Ms Gillard had to explain how the government was funding the scheme.
“The NDIS is a very worthy scheme, but it sounds to me like the dying days of a government, where they make big heroic announcements about massive programs and they won’t tell you how they pay for it,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.
He estimated the scheme would cost $8 billion a year.
“That’s the equivalent of roughly increasing the Medicare levy by one per cent,” he said.
Addressing a Perth rally, federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he offered the government bipartisan support.
“I offer the government bipartisan support for a responsible and timely NDIS,” Mr Abbott told the 500-strong crowd who had turned up in support of the NDIS.
“And I think the best way forward … is to have a bipartisan parliamentary committee, chaired by both sides’ disabilities frontbenchers, to ensure that it gets looked after at a political level.”
“That will be very hard for a lot of Australian families to pay.”
In Sydney, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, who also attended the rally, said people with a disability and their carers shouldn’t have to rally to get what should be theirs by right.
“The NSW government is prepared to work with the federal government to make NDIS a reality,” Mr O’Farrell told the gathering.
ACTU president Ged Kearney said the NDIS was a major social reform akin to the introduction of Medicare.
“Proper funding will transform the system with greater pay, more jobs, better working conditions and career structures, and the resources to do the job properly,” Ms Kearney said.
United Voice, the disability workers’ union, said it was significant step towards improving the long-neglected disability sector.
© 2012 AAP