DISABILITY insurance could be rolled out to 2400 Bendigo residents from July 2016 if the ALP is re-elected, Lisa Chesters says.
The Bendigo Labor candidate said Bendigo would be the second area in the state to be part of the DisabilityCare scheme.
Ms Chesters said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin had unveiled the timeline yesterday.
Ms Chesters said she would work towards the timeline if elected, but noted that it needed state government support.
Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the Victorian government supported DisabilityCare.
“They have every right to make that call if that’s what they believe can be done,” he said.
“I would hope that Kevin Rudd has worked out these timelines with the state governments and their departments, as opposed to just running off and making these announcements on the run.”
Ms Chesters said the ALP would work towards a City of Greater Bendigo rollout in mid-2016, followed by towns outside the council area such as Castlemaine.
The scheme would be running nationwide by 2019.
“DisabilityCare will make sure everybody gets the opportunity to live a good life,” Ms Chesters said.
“It’s great to get this announcement.
“But only a re-elected Labor government is committed to see the rollout come to Bendigo first.
“All we’ve seen from the Coalition to this date on this policy is a lot of talk and no action.
Continuing Education Bendigo chief executive Jeremi Moule welcomed the announcement.
Bendigo Liberal candidate Greg Bickley would not set a date for the local rollout if elected and said it was irresponsible for Ms Chesters to do so.
“At no stage has the Victorian government been contacted by Jenny Macklin or Lisa Chesters about this timetable,” he said.
“If she’d bothered to pick up the phone and talk to the Victorian government she would know the NDIS is going to be a co-operative venture between the federal government and the state.”