“Promise me you won’t stop campaigning. I promise you I won’t stop working” – Prime Minister Julia Gillard

The amount of funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be revealed in the upcoming federal budget.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard  announced the Federal Government’s commitment to the NDIS at the ‘Make It Real’ Rally in Sydney on Monday.

Federal Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and NSW Minister for Ageing and Disabilities, Andrew Constance joined the Prime Minister at the event.

Around 30 staff members, families and clients from the Illawarra Disability Trust attended the rally, joining nearly 2000 other supporters from across the state.

Illawarra Disability Trust Executive Manager for Organisational Development, Matthew Martin said that any amount of funding would be beneficial.

“I think our view from the disability sector at this stage is that any commitment is a good one,” he said. “There’s obviously competing pressures on the government to get the budget back in surplus but I think at this stage there is commitment and there appears to be bipartisan support.”

Mr Martin acknowledged skepticism from some stakeholders.

“Families really do feel that not enough is being done,” he said.

“From a service provider point of view, if you look at the roll-out of the funding that has occurred after the last couple of years particularly at a state level, this is unprecedented.

“I would say that you need to pay credit where is due.”

The NDIS is set to kick off in 2013 in the Hunter Valley – a full year earlier than recommended – and Ms Gillard has promised 10,000 recipients.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey is sceptical about the Government’s ability to fund the multi-billion dollar scheme, telling the Sydney Morning Herald on April 30, ”…it’s the government that says it is going to fund it in full now, so let’s find out.”

Mr Constance confirmed the Coalition’s commitment to the scheme.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals are committed to empowering people with a disability, allowing them to pick and choose the services they want through individualised funding packages,” he said.

“Individualised funding and personalised supports are a key requirement for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, and our reforms will ensure that NSW is NDIS ready by 2014.”

For more information about the NDIS visit: ndis.gov.au

For more Information about the federal budget visit: budget.gov.au

For more information about the Illawarra Disability Trust visit: disabilitytrust.org.au

 

THE SCHEME BY NUMBERS:

  • 20,000: The number of Initial recipients the Productivity Commission recommended as a starting point for the NDIS roll out before 2014.
  • 10,000: The number of recipients who will receive the funding in 2013, a year earlier.
  • 6.5 billion: The total annual cost to fully fund the NDIS.
  • 400,000: The number of people with permanent or severe disabilities who require recurrent NDIS funding.
  • $600-800 million: The amount of immediate funding required to reach families in crisis.
  • 5%: The number of people with disability who will receive NDIS funding in the 2013-2014 budget.
  • 1/3: Of the 400,000 Australians with disability are living in NSW.

Words: DANIELLE BROWN
Pictures: BRAD BULGER
Video: HAYLEY CORKIN

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