Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– In just three weeks the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS), under the title DisabilityCare Australia, will be up and running in the Barwon region. DisabilityCare Australia will deliver a lifelong approach to support people with disability through individualised funding, a system that is long overdue. The NDIS has the overwhelming support of Australians, because Australians think it is the right thing to do to support disadvantaged members of our community. Sadly the same thing cannot be said for the Napthine Liberal government. Whilst the community has been celebrating the NDIS being enshrined into law, the Napthine government has been busy finding disability funding that it can cut, or raising fees for our most disadvantaged.
As part of these fee increases, the Napthine government has raised the rent for people with a disability living in shared supported accommodation by 63 per cent. As well as this, the Napthine government has halved the funding for aids and equipment for those living with a disability. This means that for those currently living in shared supported accommodation 79 to 80 per cent of their disability support pension and rent assistance combined is going to be taken up in paying their rent. This leaves precious little money to pay for their daily needs, clothes, toiletries and the odd coffee or cinema ticket that many people have no problem paying for.
Although the Napthine government had to be dragged to the table, the Labor opposition wholeheartedly supports Victoria signing up to the NDIS. What the opposition does not support is the Napthine government making it even harder than it already is for disabled members of our community to live their lives by significantly increasing their rent and slashing funding for aids and equipment.