New NDIS Agency Welcomed By Carers Groups
6 December 2011 at 11:46 am
The national peak body representing Australia’s carers has welcomed the establishment of a new government agency to help launch of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The new agency was announced by the Gillard Government on the weekend and welcomed by Carers Australia, who represent Australia’s 2.6 million carers.
Visiting the Sydney Aquarium with a group of people with disabilities and their carers on Saturday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the NDIS would end the “cruel lottery” that had been the lot of people with disabilities – who received services based on where they lived and how they came to be disabled.
The Federal Government will set up a new agency under Families Minister Jenny Macklin to do the preliminary work on the design of the NDIS.
The Gillard Government said in a statement it will provide $10 million for projects that examine how to deliver individual, personalised care, ending the crisis-driven approach that is still sometimes applied.
According to the statement, the agency “will also oversee new projects that identify practical ways to prepare the disability sector and workforce, and people with disability, to move to a new way of delivering disability services.”
Ara Cresswell, CEO of Carers Australia, said, “In these financially tight times it is good to see the Prime Minister continuing to commit to real and sustainable change for people with disabilities.”
“We believe that a government agency with the National Disability Insurance Scheme as its primary focus has the potential to turn clever policy proposals into lasting and practical action. This is one more step in the building of a nation that is both equitable and accessible to and for all Australians,” said Cresswell.
The Government has promised the NDIS will “involve fundamental changes to the way disability care and support is provided in Australia,” and will create a system on par with Medicare.
In 2012, the Gillard Government will undertake consultation and development work before it launches.
“The new agency’s work will build on the foundation reforms agreed by the Commonwealth, states and territories at the meeting of the Select Council on Disability Reform in October. Work to deliver the foundation reforms is now underway,” according to the government.
Meanwhile the Federal Government has announced an investment in assisting disabled people in developing countries.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said the Australian Government will contribute $2 million towards a new United Nations Trust Fund to assist countries to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
"The Australian Government is pleased to support this symposium—further discussion and action on the World Report on Disability will help us to improve the quality of lives of people with disability worldwide," Mr Rudd said.
"Australia is already making a difference right around the world. We're helping children with hearing impairments in Samoa to go to school, we've worked with Cambodia to develop disability rights legislation and in Indonesia, children with disability can now go to school because more than 1,000 buildings we funded have wheelchair access. "