"DISABILITY SPEAKS" - South Australia - says in their MEDIA RELEASE:
August 10th, 2011
Can the announcement today about National Disability insurance by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard be a tragic example of political grandstanding at its very very worst using people with a disability as a political football?
With 410,000 Australians with disabilities confirmed as desperately needing support this announcement consigns some of Australia’s most disadvantaged to long term ongoing misery while the Federal Government works towards a NDIS program that is not guaranteed to ever happen. Do you remember Bob Hawke in 1990 with “No child will be living in poverty”
Who knows what the political or financial climate will be in 12 months time far less in 7 years time
Why can Australia start the roll out of a $42 billion dollar national broad band project within 12 months?
Why can Australia implement an $8.0 billion dollar Carbon Tax program within 18 months of announcement?
Why will a NDIS disability support program take 7 years?
Most importantly no additional crisis funding is allocated for additional crisis support in the interim period. The current despair will roll on.
Whilst the rhetoric towards a disability support program is positive anyone who believes that the Gillard Government is actually taking action to resolve a crisis described previously by Assistant treasurer Bill Shorten as a national disgrace may be being misled by a dishonest government.
If Julia Gillard is serious about NDIS she must immediately do three things to prove her intent
1. Pump an additional $2.5 billion dollars per annum into the current National disability Scheme to provide services to the clients currently on high priority waiting lists around the country
2. Demand that the NDIS program is implemented within 3 years and provide additional resources to achieve this.
3. Explain how she intends to fund NDIS
Any less than this from the Prime Minister may expose her as a shallow leader without the passion and family commitment that is necessary to resolve the national disability crisis and who may well be using grubby political tactics to deflect attention from her failure to address a crisis that needs resolution now. Talking about delivering a program in 7 years time, to fix a clearly identified crisis today is so ludicrous as to be bordering on farcical
Could it be the government does not want to pump any more money into disability and a protracted delay is the best way of avoiding doing so. Given the failure of the 2006 COAG plan to remove young people with disability from aged care facilities any one who believes rhetoric without funding commitments and shorter deadlines has been disappointed before.
The Gillard Labor Government today announced