A BENDIGO disability advocate has a simple message for politicians: stop bickering and reach an agreement for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Radius chief executive Jan Boynton said she was disappointed Victoria had failed to reach an agreement with the federal government for an NDIS trial.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced this week after a meeting with state and territory leaders that Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT would get NDIS trials.
Ms Gillard slammed Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and his NSW counterpart and fellow Liberal Barry O’Farrell for failing to agree to trials for their states.
“I am appalled that politics seems to have got in the road of reaching an outcome for people with a disability,” Ms Boynton said.
“I agree with Graeme Innes, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, where he said these are our leaders, they have sat down at COAG and what we expect is leadership. We expect a deal.
“It seems very much that the whole thing has been decided on party lines. The Liberal states have not agreed to a deal. The three launch sites that have been announced are in Labor states and territories, which have all agreed to a deal.”
Estimates suggest about 400,000 people across the nation would benefit from the NDIS.
Mr Baillieu yesterday said he supported the NDIS but refused to back the wrong deal.
“My obligation is to get this right, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he told ABC radio in Melbourne.
Ms Boynton said she was “very, very sad, sad for all the people who are our clients”.
“We thought we had bipartisan support for this scheme but now when it comes down to talking about funding, it goes down party lines.”