Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — Thanks to the federal Labor government, this year will forever be remembered as the beginning of one of Australia’s most significant social reforms in history, the national disability insurance scheme. This policy, like many other significant social reforms such as Medicare and superannuation, are the products of progressive Labor governments and indicative of the Australian Labor Party’s focus on improving the livelihood of all Australians. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the conservative Liberal governments in Australian history, and the current Napthine Liberal government’s latest grab for cash that is hurting Victoria’s most vulnerable people is further evidence of that.
The Napthine government has made a decision to introduce a substantial rise in rental fees for people with disabilities living in Victorian government-managed group homes. The 60-plus per cent increase in rent for people living with a disability will be a devastating impost on their lives, which are already difficult in many ways. Premier Napthine has made a decision that he knows will create severe financial hardship for those living with disability.
This rent hike will, in most cases, leave less than $5000 per annum for the majority of a disabled person’s basic needs like toiletries. It will mean that the very few luxuries a person on a disability support pension can enjoy will be much harder to afford. I take this opportunity to encourage all Victorians to sign the online Fight the Fee Hike petition and fight against Premier Napthine’s shameful and cruel rent hikes.