21 March 2014
The national peak cross-disability body People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has urged the Australian Government to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on time while investing the effort needed to get it right.
This follows the release of the capability review by the National Disability Insurance Agency Capability Review. The Review found that the agency had made a herculean effort to get the scheme running in short timeframes but that the timeframes had created capability challenges within the agency. Government has said it is seeking advice on the timetable for the Scheme.
PWDA President Craig Wallace said, “The review of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has been likened to ‘a plane that took off before it had been fully built and is being completed while in the air’.
“The NDIS isn’t a plane taking off, it’s a progressive rollout. We are already taking until 2018/19 to get fully underway, so you could also liken it to a ship. It’s possible to do maintenance and refuel at sea without turning it around or foundering it. We already have launch sites in operation and cannot sail along with parallel service systems for decades,” said Mr Wallace.
“Medicare came into operation on 1 February 1984, following the passage in September 1983 of the Health Legislation Amendment Act 1983. That’s around six months, so we know that Australia is equal to the task of delivering a sustainable nation building reform in tight timeframes if we want to.
“I welcome the release of the review and we need to address the issues in it around ICT, staffing, governance and the Geelong move. We can walk and chew gum at the same time and do this in the lead up to rollout to get it right. We need robust oversight and to invest time, skills and resources to make it happen while sticking to the already generous rollout timeframes for the NDIS.
“People with disability can’t afford to wait and every day of delay creates more cracks in a broken service system with declining carers and people moving into crisis,” said Mr Wallace.
MEDIA: Craig Wallace 0413 135 731
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.
Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated.