The Liberal Party Federal Council passed a resolution at its National Conference last weekend once again declaring their support for a better deal for Australians with a disability and their families. The resolution continues the
positive statements from the Opposition about the need for significant reform to ensure greater support and better outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers.
The resolution was moved by Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield, who continues to speak at every opportunity about his commitment to ensuring people with a disability and their families get a fair go.
The motion reads:
That Federal Council:
a. recognises that the current system of support for Australians with a disability is broken;
b. welcomes the release of the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Disability Care and Support and looks forward to the Commission’s Final Report in July;
c. notes that the Gillard Government’s annual $6 billion interest bill on its debt is equivalent to the unmet support needs of people with a disability as quantified by the Productivity Commission; and
d. calls for a system of disability support, based on need, with the individual or their family in charge and able to choose the provider of their services.
Former Howard Minister Mal Brough seconded the motion.
The resolution is important public recognition of the difficulties currently experienced by Australians with a disability and the need for change. It is also important recognition that any new approach must be needs-based and individualised, delivering greater choice and flexibility for people with a disability and their families. These are all features of the NDIS as outlined by the Productivity Commission.
The resolution means the Liberal Party has formally acknowledged the need for change. We look forward to hearing greater detail about how the Opposition would introduce and implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Senator Fifield made the comment at an advocacy conference in Canberra last week that continued advocacy and persistence was essential to ensuring all MPs heard the message about the need for reform.
“As this is an advocacy conference, can I urge you to be ceaseless …That is the key to advocacy – just being persistent, being ceaseless, not stopping. The best example of advocacy I ever saw was Deakin University, when the previous government was in office. They wanted to set up the first regional medical school in Victoria. It was a few hundred million dollars, and they were just everywhere. The Treasurer of the day couldn’t turn around without seeing someone from Deakin University. The Health Minister couldn’t turn around without seeing someone from Deakin University. The Education Minister couldn’t turn around without seeing someone from Deakin University. In the end, it was just much easier for those Ministers to say, ‘here it is, we’re giving it to you, go away!’ That’s how you want to be as advocates. Always polite, always civil, but persistent. Make it easier for government to just say, ‘OK, fine, what you want – have it.’ If I could just leave that advice with you. Keep strong, keep punching, be ceaseless and I expect that whenever I turn around in Canberra or Melbourne to see one of your faces nearby.”
So let’s all take the Senator’s advice – lets make sure that every single Federal MP can’t turn around without one of us talking to them about the NDIS.
For more tips about visiting your MP make sure you visit our page www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au/talking-to-mps-about-the-ndis-tool-kit/
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