NDIS Breakthrough - Liberal States Offer Trial Money
27 July 2012 at 5:44 pm
Last minute negotiations have seen a breakthrough with Victoria and NSW who are now set to have trials of the National Insurance Disability Scheme in their states.
The Victorian Coalition Government offered a proposal to the Commonwealth for an NDIS trial in Victoria in a letter to the Prime Minister late today.
The turnaround follows criticism that both NSW and Victoria were playing politics when they failed to make an agreement with the Federal Government over the trials at the COAG meeting on Wednesday.
Victoria says it is proposing a model that improves on the Commonwealth’s NDIS trial
The NSW Government also made a late offer in an attempt to secure an NDIS trial in that state.
The Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu says he wrote to the Prime Minister to offer $42 million to bring a trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to the City of Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliff, the Surf Coast Shire and the Colac- Otway Shire.
“The offer has two components. Victoria is willing to increase, for the purpose of a Barwon region trial, its current average spending of $19,300 per person per year in the Barwon region to meet the Commonwealth’s benchmark of $20,779 per client per year for the 4135 people who are Victoria’s existing clients in the Barwon trial site region – an amount of around $17 million in total over three years for a trial commencing in July 2013,” the Premier said.
“In addition, Victoria is willing to offer the Commonwealth a once-off facilitation payment of $25 million over the period of the launch, towards the operations and service delivery of a Geelong-based National Disability Transition Agency.”
The Premier said the Victorian offer would allow the Commonwealth to direct an additional amount of $25 million towards the cost of funding new clients in Barwon, funding that the Commonwealth will no longer need to allocate to the agency.
Earlier this week The Federal Government failed to reach an agreement with Victoria and NSW on trialing the NDIS at the COAG meeting in Canberra.
Under the Federal proposal that the Liberal States rejected, NSW would have had to contribute $70 million with the Federal Government providing $300 million and in Victoria the cost would have been $40 million matched by $100 million from the Gillard Government.
Julia Gillard did reach an agreement to trial the NDIS in the three Labor states: South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
The NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell has offered $35 million towards an NDIS trial.
Prime Minister Gillard described the late offers as a win for Australians with disabilities.
She said she was optimistic that a trial would go ahead in Victoria and while there was more work to be done with the NSW offer this was a move in the right direction.
“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.
The Victorian Premier said this new offer not only matches, but exceeds, Prime Minister Gillard’s call for Victoria to provide $40 million over the period of the forward estimates to bring an NDIS trial to the Barwon region.
“This proposal would also ensure that the trial commences in Geelong in July 2013, which is an improvement on the 2014 start date proposed by the Commonwealth.
Prime Minister Gillard said it was still disappointing that the Queensland Government had still not moved on this issue.
“I want to see a National Disability Scheme in every State and Territory and in every town and city and I need every state leader to work with me,” she said.