Labor States Pick Up NDIS Trials – COAG Meeting
Wednesday, 25th July 2012 at 5:22 pm
The Federal Government has failed to reach agreement with Victoria and NSW on trialing the National Disability Insurance Scheme – looking to the labor states to set the scheme in motion.
The Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting ended in Canberra today with Prime Minister Julia Gillard reaching an agreement to trial the NDIS in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
However, Prime Minister Gillard said after the meeting she was disappointed she could not reach agreement with Victoria and NSW.
“We are doing what we need to do to test this scheme and when it is rolled out nationally and we will know we are doing it right,” she said.
“I want to work to see more people in this scheme but we are seeing three places trialing this scheme in the beginning.”
Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu said he was keen to see the trials in place and keen to participate in these trials.
“Victoria put in a comprehensive bid with NSW to assist 15,000 people with disabilities.
Baillieu says the Commonwealth put an alternative response to the Victorian NSW proposal put late today and they will assess that and continue to have discussions with the Federal officials.
“The new component involved risk into the future and we need to make a legitimate assessment of that before making a decision.”
Baillieu said he was hopeful of working through the response and reach a positive outcome.
Under the Federal proposal, NSW would have to contribute $70million with the Federal Government providing $300million and in Victoria the cost would be $40million matched by $100million from the Gillard Government.
The Gillard Government announced in the Federal Budget in May an allocation of $1billion over four years towards the building blocks of the NDIS.
At the time the Prime Minister said that up to 10,000 people with disabilities will be supported in up to four areas across Australia from July 2013, one year ahead of the Productivity Commission recommendation.
The Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has welcomed the three NDIS launch sites describing the deal as the start of real reform to Australia’s broken disability system.
However, the campaign organisers have urged the remaining States and the Federal Government to continue discussions to spread the NDIS launch sites to more Australians who urgently need a decent disability support system.
Discussions are expected continue between the Commonwealth, Victorian and New South Wales.
Campaign leader, John Della Bosca said Western Australia was not selected as a launch site due to differences about proposed governance of the scheme and is preparing to run a trial on its own.
“Queensland premier Campbell Newman repeatedly stated that the state could not contribute any funds towards the NDIS launch until its finances improved, despite having the lowest disability support funding per capita.
“However Premier Newman committed to reviewing the state’s capacity to increase disability funding in 2014-15.
“While the outcome of the COAG meeting was a reasonable start, much more needs to be done. For the launch of the NDIS to be effective, the big states need to be in,” Della Bosca said.