People living with a disability and their families are missing out on critical services and care because the Federal Liberal Government is withholding an estimated $1.6 billion committed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme across Australia.
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today joined New South Wales Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward in calling for the Federal Government to fulfil their promise and release the cash to deserving Australians.
This money was saved by the Commonwealth from a massive underspend during the transition period as thousands of Victorians struggled to navigate the scheme and access the services they deserve. It is estimated that up to $600 million is owed to Victoria.
It was meant to be established as a Reserve Fund and set up by the end of 2019, with the accumulated funds committed to helping people with a disability.
Despite repeated requests from both Governments, the Commonwealth has not only refused to release the money – they are yet to establish the fund or even provide the proposed fund design or governance arrangements so it can be established.
This systemic neglect is another blow to people with a disability who continue to wait far too long for an NDIS plan. The result is families and carers being placed under unnecessary stress, people with complex needs struggling to find appropriate accommodation, and disabled Australians not getting the care they deserve.
Enough is enough. The Andrews Labor Government and NSW Government are today taking action to ensure people in both states with a disability receive what they’re owed for improved supports and services.
The Labor Government is contributing more than $2.5 billion to the NDIS every year. Since 2016 it has invested more than $40 million in the NDIS Transition Support Packages program.
As noted by Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“We’ve continuously picked up the slack for the Commonwealth when it comes to the NDIS but enough is enough.”
“We’ve reached out numerous times to the Commonwealth to try and negotiate the release of Victorian funds yet we’ve too often been met by silence – it’s time they stepped up and delivered on what they promised.”
“We want this reserve fund established to ensure Victorians with a disability get the care and services they deserve.”