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Aug 20, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

Coalition sticks with NDIS and unveils disability policy

Liberal Leader Tony Abbott today unveiled his party’s disability policy and committed aFederal Coalition Government to honouring all existing Commonwealth agreements with States and Territories for launch sites and the full implementation of the NDIS plus maintaining the announced funding.

He also confirmed that Geelong would host the head office of the NDIS, but that the Coalition would dump the name DisabilityCare Australia and revert to NDIS.

If elected to office, the Coalition would establish a joint parliamentary committee to oversee the implementation of the NDIS. Earlier this year, the Federal Government agreed to the Coalition’s proposal to establish such a committee. The Coalition would extend the committee’s scope and its life until at least 2019-20.

A Coalition Government would put all policy and programs for disability employment under the responsibility of the Minister for Disabilities. (At present, the Disability Minister is responsible for supported employment and the Employment Participation Minister is responsible for Disability Employment Services).

The Coalition says that current arrangements create unnecessary duplication and complexity, blur lines of accountability and make it difficult for people with disability to access the services they need.

The Coalition would also establish an industry advisory council for the disability and carer sector.

You can read the full policy here. 

Jun 27, 2013

DisabilityCare is here to stay

The Every Australian Counts campaign thanks former Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her support for the NDIS, and is sure that new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shares the great expectations of hundreds of thousands of Australians as we look forward to Monday 1 July – day one of DisabilityCare Australia and the start of transformational change for 460,000 Australians with disability and their families. 

As former Prime Minister in 2009, Kevin Rudd referred the investigation of disability system reform to the Productivity Commission, which lead to the design, legislation, funding and much-awaited launch of DisabilityCare Australia.

On July 1 DisabilityCare Australia will launch in South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.  Launches will continue from 2014 in the ACT and the Northern Territory, with the new scheme going nation-wide from 2016, with the exception of Western Australia which has not yet signed up to the scheme.

The Every Australian Counts campaign calls upon Prime Minister Rudd to continue negotiations to include Western Australians into DisabilityCare Australia to ensure it is a truly national scheme.

The Campaign thanks former Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her strong support of the NDIS and great commitment to improving the lives of Australians living with disability and their families.

The strength of DisabilityCare Australia goes beyond this Parliament and beyond the upcoming federal election. It is owned by every Australian, because it will benefit every Australian who may need legislated entitlement to lifetime support and care in the event of significant disability.

For comment email:

May 14, 2013

The budget of a nation that ‘does what’s right’

The Federal Government handed down its Budget on Tuesday 14 May. In it Treasurer Wayne Swan outlined the Government’s plan to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

See below the response from the Every Australian Counts team:


John Della Bosca, Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, said:

“The Budget rights a wrong that has existed for decades. Australia has failed people with a disability and those who care for them. Tonight’s Budget demonstrates that we are a nation that does what is right.

“Tonight’s Budget makes the dream of the NDIS a certainty.”

In 2019-20, the first year of full implementation, the NDIS is projected to cost $22.2 billion and provide support to 460,000 people with significant and permanent disability. The Commonwealth Government will contribute 53% of this cost.

John Della Bosca continued, “I have followed the Commonwealth Budget for decades. In some years you needed a microscope to find disability mentioned at all. Supporting people with a disability is at the core of tonight’s budget.

“The NDIS will mean people with a disability and their family and carers get the support they need when they need it. It will end the waiting lists, fund necessary equipment and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

“Tonight’s budget is a win for people who believe in justice for people with disability. The NDIS is a budget measure that appeals to the heart and the head.

“In 2011 people with disability, their families, carers and the organisations who support them got together – and a campaign was born. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, and that it would take time.

“So the disability community knocked on the doors of our politicians from all parties hundreds of times. We rallied around Australia in our thousands, out on the street, or around a cup of tea. We told our stories over and over again. We made them listen to our call for the NDIS – and we refused to give up.”

John Della Bosca concluded: “Tonight Every Australian with a disability knows that their fellow Australians are committed to them, and to making sure they have the same chances, choices and opportunities that most Australians take for granted. Tonight Every Australian Counts.”

Mar 1, 2013

Celebrating 20 years of the Disability Discrimination Act

A message from Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner

We are all campaigning for an NDIS because we live with the impact of disability, and recognise that Australia should appropriately support all of its citizens. The NDIS is a critical reform, and I’m proud to share this journey with you all.

Disability Discrimination law provided Australians with disability – and their relatives or associates – with the chance to pursue a complaint if we were treated less favourably than other people in a range of areas of public life.

Many have taken that opportunity. And their actions have not just changed their own lives- they have changed the lives of many other Australians with disability.

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this law, the Australian Human Rights Commission is telling twenty of those stories, such as:

• Scarlet who wanted to go to school;

• Pat and Keith who are desperately concerned about who will support their sons when they are no longer able to do so; and

• Anj and Michelle whose only accommodation was in a nursing home with people three times their age.

They are stories of people just like us, prepared to take on a challenge to achieve change for ourselves and others.

Take a moment to watch how this legislation has changed people’s lives from 6.15pm EST today.

Feb 1, 2013
Geraldine Mellet

150 shades of grey – a very different take on the NDIS Legislation

Ever wondered what the NDIS Legislation might have in common with the infamous novel Fifty shades of Grey?  Wonder no longer.  

Guerilla advocacy group The Bolshy Divas have drawn some pretty interesting parallels in their submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry.

 Here’s a sample ” …if you’re looking for a tale about power – who the dominant powers are and who has the smallest voice – you’ve got it….and just because we’re invited to make a submission – we don’t have to be…well submissive. Its our lives, after all. And isnt that what disability reform is supposed to be about? Changing the balance of power?”

You can read more of this very different submission and many more from around Australia on the Senate Committee’s website 

Jan 23, 2013

Kurt Fearnley gives Australia Day address

Last night Paralympic gold medalist Kurt Fearnley gave the Australia Day address and spoke about the huge difference change to our disability system would make. Read the full transcript of his speech below:

I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we’re on today, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I’d also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of my birthplace in Central West New South Wales because I’m the man I am today due to the years I spent crawling around Wiradjuri country.

Thank you and good evening.

To say that I’m honoured to be invited to speak at this Australia Day address would be more than an understatement. The platform, the audience and the association with our national day, has made this one of the most memorable and daunting experiences of my life. I say this because representing my community of people with a disability, sport in general, and any association with the ‘Green and Gold’, or Australia Day itself are some of the most important things in my life. But as I can’t find a word that encapsulates surprised, excited, amazed and daunted, I guess ‘honoured’ will have to do. Continue reading »

Oct 22, 2012
John Della Bosca



Government misses prime opportunity to secure funding for roll out of National Disability Insurance Scheme in MYEFO

MYEFO stands for Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. It is an update on the Federal budget and was released today. For more click here.

22 October 2012

The lack of any new money for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in today’s MYEFO heightens the urgent need for the Federal Government to make a firm commitment to full funding for the national scheme, according to the Every Australian Counts campaign.

The MYEFO update sees the Federal Government fall further behind the productivity commissions’ road map to roll out the NDIS, delaying essential support for tens of thousands of Australians with a disability and their carers.

Not taking the opportunity of setting aside any additional funding for the NDIS will place further pressure on the next budget, when an allocation of close to $5 billion is needed according to the productivity commission’s NDIS timetable.

Every Australian Counts Campaign Director John Della Bosca said he is deeply disappointed the Federal Government has not funded an expanded rollout of the NDIS in the MYEFO released today. Continue reading »

Oct 3, 2012
Fiona Anderson

1700 DisabiliTEA packs on their way!

DisabiliTEA logo Join Us for a DisabiliTEA to support the NDIS Friday 26 October 2012With over 1700 Every Australian Counts DisabiliTEAs registered in three weeks, Friday 26 October promises to be a great community day that packs a political punch right across Australia!

NDIS campaigners are going flat out to ensure that on DisabiliTEA Day – 26 October 2012 – Australians will send a serious message to all our political leaders: When is the NDIS coming to my community?

At every DisabiliTEA, along with your family, friends, neighbours, workmates, business and community groups, please invite your local State and Federal politicians along, so they understand that the NDIS is very important to people in their electorate.

Launch sites get ready to go – but what about the national roll-out?

From July 2013, 20,000 people with disabilities will start to benefit from the NDIS as it is launched in five locations around Australia:  NSW Hunter Valley, VIC Barwon region, the ACT, 0-15 year olds in South Australia and 15-24 year olds in Tasmania.

Continue reading »

Sep 6, 2012
James O'Brien

‘DisabiliTEA 2012’: nation wide tea party on October 26 to demand the NDIS!

Media release:

Thursday 6 September 2012

The Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will hold its second annual ‘DisabiliTEA’, a nationwide tea party, on Friday 26 October right across Australia.

We want this year’s event to be bigger and better than last year and send a clear message to Australia’s political leaders that the NDIS has strong community support.

Last year, around 35,000 people took part in more than 900 DisabiliTEA events around the nation which helped put the NDIS firmly on the public agenda.

This year, we want a massive show of strength from the Australian community to ensure our political leaders commit to the full implementation of the NDIS without further delay or equivocation.

The campaign is delighted that Julia Taylor, runner up in this year’s TV series of Master Chef and her sister Katie an Australian living with disability, have got on board to launch this year’s DisabiliTEA event.

Julia and Katie will be cooking up a storm at this year’s DisabiliTEA in October and they are sharing an exclusive recipe with everyone who registers for this year’s event.

Julia and Katie are from Queensland where the NDIS is still a long way from becoming a reality.

We’ve come a long way since our DisabiliTEA last year. The Federal Government has committed funding for the first stage of the NDIS which will be launched at sites in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT from 1 July next year.

This means about 20,000 Australians with disability, their families and carers will start to benefit from the NDIS.

But there is still a long way to go.

Continue reading »

Aug 9, 2012
James O'Brien

Have your say on the design of the NDIS

The National Disability and Carers Alliance – comprised of AFDO, Carers Australia, National Disability Services and in conjunction with People with Disability Australia to represent people with disability, carers and the disability sector – with funding support from Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) will be holding forums  and wide-ranging discussions with people with disability, their families, carers, service providers and their advocates to work through the nuts and bolts of this major change represented by a NDIS.

This project will make sure people with a disability, their families and carers and service providers have their say about the design and implementation of the NDIS.

Continue reading »


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