The legislation to set up the Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has passed both houses of parliament and soon will become law. Ai-Media applauds this historic event. It will dramatically change the future of Australians with disabilities, their families and carers.
Minister Jenny Macklin described the bill as the most significant social reform since Medicare.
"It will bring an end to the tragedy of services denied or delayed and instead offer people with disability the care and support they need over their lifetimes."
“It will end the cruel lottery that besets people today, where the care and support they receive depends on where they live or how they acquired their disability,” she said in an emotional statement.
Her opposition counterpart, MP Kevin Andrews, said the scheme was something a humane country, such as Australia, should put in place. ''Can I say something that is rarely heard from this side of the despatch box - I congratulate the government for having brought this forward,'' he said.
Nationals MP Darren Chester noted the work of Labor MP Bill Shorten, who he described as an ''outstanding advocate'' for people with disabilities.
The legislation will enable the NDIS to be launched from July this year.
The scheme will initially benefit about 26,000 people with disabilities, their families and their carers, living in selected launch sites in South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, the Hunter in New South Wales and the Barwon area of Victoria.
Ai-Media has been a committed supporter of the NDIS and will continue campaigning until the NDIS is implemented for every person with a disability, their families and carers.
The Government also announced the new name for the NDIS - DisabilityCare Australia. Minister Macklin said "DisabilityCare Australia reflects the principles of the NDIS - that all Australians with significant or profound disability receive the care and support they need regardless of how they acquired that disability."