National disability scheme ‘a job creator’

Ms Maclean said implementation of the scheme still had a long way to go but would succeed if it retained as its core philosophy the need to give some of Australia’s most disadvantaged people a better life.
Ms Maclean said implementation of the scheme still had a long way to go but would succeed if it retained as its core philosophy the need to give some of Australia’s most disadvantaged people a better life.

THE introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme has the potential to create businesses and jobs to help people enjoy better lives, Sunshine Coast Access Advisory Network spokeswoman Kay Maclean says.

Speaking after a forum on Monday hosted by Member for Fisher Mal Brough, Ms Maclean said implementation of the scheme still had a long way to go but would succeed if it retained as its core philosophy the need to give some of Australia's most disadvantaged people a better life.

The NDIS scheme, borne out of a Productivity Commission report, has introduced a Medicare-style levy to fund support for people with disabilities.

Mr Brough (pictured) described NDIS as one of the most important and significant social policy initiatives in the nation's history.

He said it would put control back into the hands of people living with disability.

RELATED: Disability pensioners blocked from seeking work

"While we still have a long way to go before the scheme is rolled out across the country, it is essential locals are engaged now to ensure the smoothest transition possible," he said.

Ms Maclean said as long as the government stuck to proposals outlined in the Productivity Commission report, it would not go far wrong.

Adequate funding would open up demand for a range of services, including qualified personal care, and opportunities for untrained people who were able to assist people with disabilities to get better quality from their lives, she said.

Ms Maclean warned there was a critical need to develop accessible and cheap housing options for those coming into the community from institutions and elderly carers.

Ms Maclean said policies and procedures being tested at four pilot projects were not perfect.

She was confident, however, that as long as those involved were flexible in the way support was provided and focused on outcomes for individuals, the scheme would be successful.

"I'm still not sure that enough money has been put aside," she said. "It has to be done right. You can't have a halfway system. It has to be all the way or not at all."

Topics:  disability employment jobs ndis

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