Victoria Premier Denis Napthine
Victoria Minister for Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge
Prime Minister Should Commit To Geelong As NDIS Headquarters
Victor P Taffa
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge have called on the Prime Minister to commit to establishing the headquarters of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Geelong.
“Victoria’s offer of $25 Million towards the headquarters has now been on the table for more than eight months.” Dr. Napthine said.
“Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said herself that Geelong has a strong case to be the host. What we need now is a genuine commitment.”
Dr. Napthine, who was in Geelong visiting Geelong disability services provider Karingal with Ms. Wooldridge and Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos, said there were a number of factors that made the city an ideal choice to host the headquarters for the NDIS agency.
“Geelong has a strong local disability services sector, which is currently on track to launch the scheme in the Barwon region on 1 July this year.” Dr. Napthine said.
“There is strong local government, business and community support for both the NDIS and the establishment of its headquarters in Geelong.”
“Geelong has the required capacity and infrastructure to run the scheme, including the expertise and experience of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), which is based here.”
“In fact, the successful transfer of the TAC to Geelong from its original base in Melbourne proves the area is capable of establishing and hosting a large scale social insurance agency.”
“Local infrastructure includes a regional airport, Deakin University and Gordon TAFE both of which run NDIS workforce-related courses.”
“Victoria is also the only state to put money on the table to host the NDIS agency with our $25 Million offer. All we need now is for the Prime Minister to say ‘yes’.” Dr. Napthine said.
Ms. Wooldridge said that Victoria was a policy leader in disability services and continues to lead Australia in the delivery of disability services and reform.
“Victoria has more than 16 years experience in providing people with disability with greater choice and control over their supports through individualised funding, which will be the basis of how a NDIS will support people with disability.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
“The Coalition Government has been a champion for a NDIS. We have consistently advocated for a better deal for people with disability, their families and their carers.”
“We have already committed more than $300 Million for disability services in the Barwon region over the trial period and are contributing significantly to the development of the NDIS framework, legislation and rules that govern it.” Ms. Wooldridge said.