The State Government’s roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will leave people on the waiting list in East Gippsland without services until 2019.
Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said while the NDIS had strong bipartisan support and was great news for Victorians with disabilities and their families, he was concerned the roll-out would miss some people who were in most need in East Gippsland and other areas.
“The former Liberal-Nationals Government signed up to the NDIS and committed to a roll-out where all those on waiting lists, regardless of where they lived, received the benefits first,” he said.
“Under this Government’s changed roll-out, people in the first areas to be transitioned who are already receiving disability services under the current system will be moved to the NDIS, while those on waiting lists in other areas like East Gippsland will continue to wait.
“In the case of East Gippsland, we are the last area to be transitioned in the state in 2019, so it is critically important to our families.
“It is my view that rolling out the NDIS to those on the state-wide waiting list first was the fairest approach and that is what we committed to do. It is what carer groups wanted.
“While there is provision for early roll out of some of the more acute cases on waiting lists, surely everyone who is eligible and stuck on a waiting list not receiving a service at all, should be dealt with first.
“I noted our region’s Labor Upper House member, Harriet Shing, commented this would provide a fairer system with no more waiting lists. Every person would agree, but it would have been pleasing to hear her state those on the current waiting list in her electorate would be dealt with first in the transition,” Mr Bull said.
Shadow Minister for Families and Children, Georgie Crozier, said children, in particular, should have access to early education services under the NDIS as a priority.
“Young children with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable on our waiting lists and it is so important they have access to services as early as possible,” Ms Crozier said.
“While the NDIS is great news for these children and their families, we need to make sure the rollout is done fairly and targets those in most need.”