‘a light on a hill’ – disability taken seriously

I have heard snippets of this story since the PM’s Big Ideas Summit of last year, and it certainly sounds like it has great potential.

The full story in the Australian newspaper is here, but the gist of it is a national policy tagged to the medicare levy, which would provide for the care needs of the disabled. This is not a ‘pension’ in lieu of an income for a disabled person, it is a scheme to cover real needs – equipment, therapy, care, accommodation, whatever. The standard assessment tools now in use to designate the severity of a permanent disability would apply and, of course, there would be the usual maddening bureaucratic complications of all such schemes, but, our society accepts responsibility for the aged, for the orphan and the endangered, while leaving the vast bulk of the responsibility for the disabled in the hands of family members.

No scheme is going to be perfect, but I’ll be watching the evolution of this one closely.

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~ by Garry on July 24, 2009.

4 Responses to “‘a light on a hill’ – disability taken seriously”

  1. Yes the NDIS would be fantastic for all of us! We were at a launch recently for a related charity here in Sydney and Bill Shorten gave an address focused around the NDIS. He was full of it saying the govt would explore the possibility of an inquiry into the viability of an NDIS. Nick and I sat boiling in our seats the whole time. Another family at the table beside us spoke to him afterwards and apparently he said that’s the party line for official speeches but that an NDIS will happen. Lets hope so! 🙂

  2. Hi Donna. We live in hope don’t we.
    I have great admiration for Bill Shorten, not least because his integrity, hard work and competence are recognised not just by Labor but by big hitters in the Liberals, including the mad monk, Tony Abbott. If anyone is likely to steer something like this through, it could well be Shorty Shorten.
    I can’t tell you the number of people who have looked, for example, at the modifications we had done to the KIA Grand Carnival (the ramp access package done by Freedom Motors in Sydney cost $24,000!) and they invariably say “wow, that is fantastic, is there government money to help you do that?
    What that says to me is that the punters out there would be largely in favour of a scheme that brought such purchases within the range of all families who have profound disabilities to cope with.

  3. Oh yes! We get asked similar questions all the time about Luca’s wheelchair, our very soon to be car modification (we’re going the Turney Seat Route though still 20k to have that done!) and all the therapies we do with him. So, yes it would seem the average Joe supports government funding for those of us with disabled kids. But, unlike you I don’t hold much faith in the government to do the right thing. It was fine for him to talk the talk at a function with 300 carers and families members in attendance but I want to see him action his words in Canberra. Ah there may be a future for me in politics what do you think?! 😛

  4. I’m not sure yet what this government will and won’t do. I think it is still hard to tell. Parties in their first term after being in opposition for so long take a while to get into their stride, I think.
    But, I agree with you that it wouldn’t be at all surprising if it all turned out to be too good to be true.
    I did hear a rumour (just a rumour at this stage) that something is going to be announced this coming week?
    Let’s see.

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