States must add to disability plan

As the Victorian and NSW Governments want Australia to move to a full National Disability Insurance Scheme, the federal government wants the states to contribute themselves.

The two state governments made an expression of interest to have the NDIS launched in the NSW Hunter region and the Victorian Barwon region.

This move follows the scheme’s $19 million launch in the ACT after the federal government has delivered $1 billion over four years in the 2012-13 Budget to begin the first stage of the scheme.

The ACT Government will contribute the $8 million remainder.

South Australia has also introduced the scheme with $212 million allocated to disability reform in its annual budget including $20 million for the NDIS over three years.

However, Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin said she would be willing to work with the NSW and Victorian Governments if they are serious about putting their 'fair share' of the financial contribution to the scheme.

“It’s only fair that New South Wales and Victoria make the same contribution relatively that South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have made,” Ms Macklin said.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said both states agree with the Productivity Commission's recommendation that the Commonwealth Government is best placed to provide the additional funding required for the NDIS launch.

Mr Baillieu said the partnership will ensure the states’ resources are used to build on current systems and share knowledge during the launch stage.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said both governments are committed to the implementation of the NDIS in accordance with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations.

Mr O’Farrell said both states are in a position to take a “significant” part in a national rollout of the scheme.

National Disability Services chief operating officer, Patrick Maher said finding similarities across state systems and working together in an integrated disability sector setting will be essential.

"The collaborative approach will help address the significant cross jurisdictional challenges that the NDIS will present us with,” Mr Maher said.

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