House of Reps passes National Disability Insurance Scheme bill

Thu 14 March 2013

Legislation to set up the Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been passed by the House of Representatives.

Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin reportedly broke down as she wound up her speech on the bill.

"This bill…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,” she said.

"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."

Ms Macklin says the scheme will initially benefit about 26,000 people in launch sites in five states and territories.

Commonwealth funding includes:

  • $342m over three years for individually funded packages for people with significant and permanent disability;
  • $154m over three years to employ local area coordinators;
  • $58m over three years to assess the needs of people with a disability in launch locations; and
  • $240m over four years to build and operate an NDIS IT system

The legislation will now go before the Senate, where it is expected to pass with support from Labor, the Greens and the Opposition.

Proposed by the Productivity Commission, the NDIS aims to shift funding for disability away from welfare to a system based on social insurance, with all taxpayers contributing.

Instead of funding of being allocated to service providers, individuals will instead be given direct access to funding, which they can then administer either directly or through brokers.

The focus of the scheme will be on early intervention, building on the concept that significant initial financial outlay can offset greater costs incurred if problems are left untreated.

The scheme aims to cover 360,000 people with a profound or severe disability, with a separate National Injury Insurance scheme to cover people who suffer a catastrophic injury.

Read full story on ABC news.


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