WA Agency Backs State’s Resistance to NDIS
16 May 2013 at 9:20 am
A West Australian disability support agency has supported the WA Government’s refusal to sign on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, DisabilityCare.
Not for Profit disability services provider, Nulsen, which focuses on people with profound intellectual and physical disabilities has called on the WA Premier Colin Barnett to ‘stay the course’ after refusing to sign on to the NDIS.
West Australia remains the only Australian State not to have signed on to the scheme.
Nulsen Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Trewern says his organisation is concerned that the Federal Government is rushing the NDIS timetable in an effort to leave a ‘legacy’.
“There is no dispute that there is a need for a national NDIS entitlement scheme.
“However we are backing the Premier’s refusal to abandon WA’s decentralised model of funding services as a condition of signing on to the NDIS.
“This is a huge piece of social change and we have to get it right without rushing into it,” Trewern said.
“Although an NDIS entitlement system remains the ultimate goal, control that is centralised in the Eastern States would be worse than the good WA model that is currently in place.
“Our fear is having to operate within a transactional model with someone in Sydney who doesn’t know the individual and who will simple work from a formula that says ‘you are entitled to X, and that’s it’,” Trewern said.
“My view is that the Premier is acting in the best interests of the people with disabilities in this state.”
Trewern says WA’s own My Way Scheme, introduced in July 2012, is very progressive around choice, portability and individualised packages, and the State should not be moving away from this innovative model when there are still many unknowns around the NDIS rules.
The Federal Government has secured agreements for a full scheme roll out by July 2018 with the New South Wales, South Australian and ACT Governments.
Agreements have also been reached with the Victorian, Queensland, Tasmanian, and Northern Territory Governments for a full scheme roll out by July 2019.
WA Premier Colin Barnett has said he supports the principle behind the NDIS and has offered to participate in a state-wide trial.
But, he says he is uncomfortable with the prospect of funding and service delivery being controlled from Canberra.
"The whole direction of disability in this state for the last 20 years has been about empowering people and delivering services and choice at a local level," he said.
"What the Federal Government is proposing is a very centralised system.”