A NDIS for Australia

A National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will significantly improve the quality of life and services for those living with a disability.

The Greens support the development of such a scheme which will ensure a person living with a disability - no matter how it was acquired - will have appropriate and adequate services.

Planning for the implementation of the NDIS is underway and I’m carefully monitoring progress.

Evidence presented to the Senate Committee Affairs Committee inquiry into Ageing with a Disability found that lifelong planning of care needs for people with a disability is very important but there are a number of barriers to this occurring.

These barriers include lack of accommodation, respite care and support services and the difficult interface between disability and aged care services.

The inquiry also received evidence that as people move from the disability system into aged care that service support can change and in some cases be worse.

I am therefore concerned by recent reports that the Government plans to limit access to the NDIS to those who acquire their disability under the age of 65.

This approach is likely to create a two tier system. Our aged care services are not necessarily the right services to provide care for people living with a disability simply because they are over 65. This seems to be contrary to the spirit of the NDIS.

Article 4 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) stipulates that people with disability must be involved in all decisions that affect their lives.

While the Government has significant planning and development under way, and has ensured that service providers are involved and supported in the process, I have had concerns represented to me that people with disability may not be as involved as much as they should be.

The NDIS represents a fundamental shift of control to people with disability over the choice and management of their disability supports and must involve people with disability at all level of development.

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