Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu
Coalition To Lead On Disability Funding Reform
Victor P Taffa
A Baillieu Government will make the reform of disability funding and service delivery in Victoria a priority by championing a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide lifetime support for people with a disability.
An NDIS will overhaul the current system which rations disability services and introduce a
no-fault universal insurance safety net, similar to those operated by the Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe, for people with permanent or severe disabilities.
“Victoria’s most vulnerable people need help and a Baillieu Government will lead the way on an overhaul of disability funding to support them and their families and carers.” Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu said today.
“The Coalition will take a national leadership role to ensure that Victorians with disabilities, their families and carers get the significant support and care they need.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“Thousands of Victorian families and carers currently endure great hardship and bear the financial burden of caring for their family member with a disability.”
“Victorians who are either born with a disability or acquire a disability outside of a workplace or car accident have no way of gaining automatic and guaranteed support and care.”
“For many Victorians with a disability, their only option is to sit on waiting lists, often waiting years to access basic services such as accommodation, aids and equipment, respite care and day programs.”
“An NDIS will help reduce the gap between the demand for disability services and their availability, which will continue to grow if the current dysfunctional system remains in place.” Mr. Baillieu said.
The Coalition’s national leadership role will ensure the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry, due to report in July 2011, into a Disability Care and Support Scheme including the National Disability Insurance Scheme are adopted as soon as possible.
The Coalition’s leadership role in creating an NDIS will include:
- Establishment of an NDIS Secretariat in the Department of Premier and Cabinet;
- Secondment of TAC and WorkSafe staff to the secretariat to bring their expertise in running no-fault insurance schemes to model the scheme and plan for implementation;
- Commitment to pilot a scheme in Victoria if a state-based trial is recommended;
- Commissioning additional research needed to support the scheme’s introduction;
- Inviting carers from across Victoria to advise on the design and implementation of the NDIS based on their own experience;
Hosting a Community and Disability Services Ministers Conference immediately after the draft Productivity Commission report in February 2011 and ensuring NDIS is a priority for the first COAG meeting in 2011;
Establishment of the Victorian NDIS Implementation Taskforce with representation from a range of stakeholders including people with disabilities, families and carers to advise the Victorian Government on all aspects of the design and implementation, including
co-ordinating with Federal and other State and Territory Governments, the Productivity Commission, disability organisations, individuals with a disability, their families and carers;
An NDIS based on the principles of equity, efficiency, sustainability and self-determination.
These commitments will ensure that work can begin straight after the final Productivity Commission report to design and agree on a model and get an NDIS underway.
“While the precise cost and nature of these reforms will be determined by the Productivity Commission, the cost of doing nothing is even greater.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“Families dedicate their lives to caring for a child with a disability, yet state and Federal Governments force them to beg for desperately-needed services and support.” Shadow Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said.
“The Coalition’s leadership role will change the way the community views and responds to people with a disability.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“A Baillieu Government will work with the Federal Government and other states and territories to ensure that major disability reform occurs.”
“The Coalition will champion significant reform of disability services, providing much greater lifelong support for Victorians with a disability and their families and giving them the best chance to fulfil their potential.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
A BAILLIEU GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR A NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME
The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition recognises that both State and Commonwealth Governments have a responsibility for providing support and services for people with a disability.
A National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the most effective way to secure equitable, sustainable and self-sufficient delivery of disability services.
Disability services are currently provided through a system based on rationing, which means services are crisis-driven and individuals and families spend years on waiting lists to access aids, equipment, respite and community-based programs.
In May 2010 the Productivity Commission released an issues paper into the implementation of an NDIS. The Commission is currently conducting a feasibility study into the development, financing and implementation of an NDIS. A range of models will be examined through the inquiry, including how the scheme will be financed.
A failure to reform the system will end up costing much more in the long term due to increasing demand for services, inefficient service delivery and the medical and social costs of delayed treatment of people waiting to access services.
The NDIS will offer lifetime support for a person with a disability and their families. As a result, individuals, carers and families will be able to plan for and invest in the best outcomes for each person over a lifetime. This will result in a greater focus on early intervention, which is often not achieved under the current approach.
An NDIS will lead to new opportunities for Victorians with disabilities, their families and carers, giving them the power to take control over their own lives.