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Jan 31, 2012
John Della Bosca

MEDIA RELEASE: Every Australian Counts welcomes Mr Abbott’s statements in support of the NDIS

The Every Australian Counts campaign welcomes the statement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott at the National Press Club today in Canberra.

Mr Abbott has today given the strongest statement of support for the NDIS from the opposition saying that:

The coalition strongly supports the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for a disability insurance scheme but, with an estimated price tag of $6 billion a year this important and necessary reform can’t fully be implemented until the budget returns to strong surplus”. 

John Della Bosca National Director of the Every Australian Counts Campaign said “The Every Australian Counts campaign welcomes Mr Abbott’s statement in support of the NDIS. It’s significant that in Tony Abbott’s first major speech for the year he has made the NDIS one of 3 priority areas that the Coalition would address if elected into Government”

“For more than a year we have been campaigning for an NDIS. Across Australia more than 700 hundred people with a disability and their families have visited their local MP’s. They all told similar stories of a disability system that is underfunded and inefficient and often leaves our fellow Australians in a state of financial and emotional crisis. The statement from opposition leader Tony Abbott today is another sign that our parliament is listening”.

“The NDIS is now supported by both the government and the opposition”.

“The disability community welcomes the bi-partisan support for the NDIS. To fix the crisis in our disability system we want to see this bi-partisan support translated into real action. We hope 2012 will be the year the agency to run the NDIS is legislated, the launch sites to start the NDIS are announced and the funding for the scheme is outlined. The disability community has waited long enough. Now is the time to make the NDIS real”.

John Della Bosca concluded: “Aspiration and in principle commitments from all political parties are welcome and provide some hope but what the disability community wants is real action, fixed timelines and a guarantee on how the scheme will be funded ”.


  • No John. Not good enough. Not everyone welcomes Tony Abbotts mean handed approach to disability services. It may be fine in principal to give a commitment, but to have it wait until the budget is in STRONG surplus is to deny older people with disabilities along with their aging parents assistance they need right now. Aging parents and their children cannot afford to be pussyfooted around this issue any more than we need to. The older aging group seems to have left behind in much of the Every Australian Counts agenda. So far its nice feel good pictures of young and middle aged parents and their child with a disability. They have some time on their hands John. My son does not. My wife and I may not be here much longer and it would be nice to have him settled and secure before that happens. Not to mention the fact that we may even enjoy some of our time together in retirement.

  • Yesterday I met with a man in his 30s with parents needing to be accommodated elsewhere due to legal requirements of where they are living. Response from Victorian Government and bureaucracy, sorry we can’t help you, no money!. Maybe John and Tony should go and visit these people and explain that their situation needs to wait until we get back into surplus!

  • I now hold significant fears that the NDIS will be put on hold if (when) the Liberals win government. This scheme is too important to allow it to slip away. Money to fund the scheme will be found under a Labour government and it should be found under a Liberal government. It will be 50 years this year that I sustained a spinal injury and it’s been 50 years of being shoved and pushed around by an uncaring system. I would like to see an equitable system in place before I die, but Tony Abbott’s announcement is filling me with apprehension. It is not tolerable to have something on our doorstep and then to dangle it in front of us with vague promises. What can we do? We CANNOT allow this procrastination to happen – after all it could take many years to get the budget into surplus, particularly if the world’s spiralling economy drags Australia down. There is money for a miriad of other things, but not us. WHY? What can we do beside approaching our local member (who in my area happens to be Liberal – yes minister, maybe?). I feel we need to act now. I for one do not trust them.

  • Very well sad Les ! We strongly agree, as older parent carers we wonder if the budget will be in STRONG surplus ever let alone in time for us

  • John your comments are very disappointing. People have being waiting too long to have their Human Rights respected. It is not good enough to say ‘it will have to wait until we have enough lose change to do something’. If it was Tony’s child I bet he would not be waiting until he could be debt free before he got the services he needed. No he would find a way to pay as soon as possible. John I am shocked that you are welcoming Tony Abborts comment.

  • Apparently the Disabled and the Family who struggle to support many of them, are so highly regarded and respected, and our value to the community held in such high esteem we are to remain on the scrapheap of life until some self absorbed Government interested only in their self agrandisement, deigns to truly support our battle to exist.
    Mr Della Bosca please do not insult my intelligence or patronise me with idle promise. I am far too tired from the daily struggle to indulge some politicians ego.

  • In regard to the few comments I have just read above, I can see there is a great deal of angst and frustration driving these comments.
    Firstly, lets not bite the hand of the one’s trying to feed us. It is no good attacking those who are trying to get the NDIS wheels in motion with comments like “it’s just not good enough John” or “your comments are disapointing”. For me, these comments are ‘not good enough’ & ‘very disappointing’.
    We have to remember that this scheme is all new (which will create a degree of fear in some) and it has to start somewhere. This is a big ‘project’, and the seed has been planted into the minds of our politicians from all sides. With growing anything, it needs to be watered, fertilised and tendered to for it to grow. Let’s not try and reap a harvest before the roots of this scheme is firmly in the ground. I’m sorry to say, but this will command a lot of patience from us all. I work in the disability sector, and I see the desperate need in our community, but this has to be set up right, and as I mentioned before, this should have happened 20 years ago, but there was no vision then, and we all thought we were OK.
    This is not an issue that should be a political football, so there has to be a degree of tact and common sense in the negotiations with all sides of politics. I believe that is where we are at as far as implementing the NDIS and I have every confidence in those negotiating the way through this mowmentus task, and they need our support too, and not criticism.
    We have to be encouraged that the Opposition leader is on side and is being ‘real’ about the cost of implementation, but given time, I’m sure they will find a way to come up with the money. On the other hand we have the Government saying we will implement it and will find the money.
    There is a set order to all we do, so wisdom has to prevail so the NDIS is here to stay and doesn’t fall over on the way. I have every confidence it WILL be implemented, but please be patient with this.

  • I agree with Max Water’s comments regarding ‘NDIS being a new and big project’. Although I empathise with those of you who state that they are in a situation whereby time is a ‘real issue’. However, we must not lose sight of the main objectives set out in the NDIS. This scheme is going to take a considerable amount of money ( six billion per year is not something that just magically appears from a budget which is already stretched to its limits ). Therefore, peoples we must keep on keeping on with the whole ‘plant the seed, water the seed and nurture the seedling until it is strong enough to survive in an environment which is sometimes unpredictable and volatile’. Do not lose faith or condemn those who are spearheading the campaign…or it could end up like Gillard/Rudd fiasco.

    As a mother of child who has a disability and a person who works within the disability sector I see injustice and common sense continually going on, however, I fully support this campaign as the alternative is not that attractive and one might go as far to say regressive. So please let us take Tony Abbots comments as a positive response whereby we can use these comments within our discussions with Julia to see if she can better Tony’s offer, which consequently could see her political rating improve. Consider this Ms Gillard, you, your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends will all be touched by either experiencing a disability yourself or caring for someone with a disability within your life time, now ‘How do you want them to live?’ Australia has the opportunity to shine within the global economy, now lets show the world just how fabulous we really are. Repeat after Me Julia:

    I Ms Julia Gillard solemnly declare, that as the first Australian woman Prime
    Minister I will lead the government and the Australian public into a new paradigm
    regarding the morally and rightful support for a person living with a disability. Australia is a rich country, not only in natural resources but we can also boast about our abundance of integrity, fairness and willingness to help our fellow citizens. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the project that will negate our history of neglect and will allow all Australian citizens to hold their heads up high and boast, ‘Not only do I live in the most beautiful country in the world but I also live amongst an empathetic and caring populous who support people with disabilities to live a quality of life which is enriched with dignity and honour. We are all ‘True Blue Hero’s’…hear us roar!

    Come on Julia, this maybe your final chance to win the Australian public over. Think about your political spiel when addressing this issue, remember you need to get it through to the general population that we will all be in some way shape or form affected by a disability. So how do the general public want to be supported or their loved ones supported? With fairness and dignity, well then we have just the scheme it’s called the NDIS and the labour government will be the first party within Australian politics to introduce a scheme that will now or in the future benefit all Australian citizens. The writing is on the wall Julia regarding your leadership please don’t be shy in using our project as your political saviour…consider it as a gift from NDIS campaign to you.

  • I was surprised that John supported Tony Abbott’s speech. I understand he is diplomatically maintaining a professional relationship with the hope of the NDIS becoming more than a desire. How wonderful that disability is mentioned in the top three, but this comes at a price. Tony might like referring to the disability community so that he gets votes but now is the time to make the funding occur, not when the budget is in surplus. The liberals talk about Julia Gillard’s failings and I think we can see one of the Liberal party if they get in power.

    I am more than saddened by Tony’s speech – a society can be measured by how they treat those who are less fortunate and his message was….when we can afford it. Disgusted – the push for disability rights and an adequate system needs a stronger commitment by those in power. I’d like to know who and what else is going to get allocated funds before we get the NDIS.

    The whole game is about power, class systems, and inequalities (and so much more). I do not have every confidence that it will be implemented. My feelings correlate with the title of the group started by two women and can be accessed on Facebook – Australians as Mad as Hell.

  • Excellent Monique. Yes we all need a saviour, and no one more than our Prime Minister at this point in time.
    We just need ONE politician to stand up and be a ‘statesman’ and the NDIS will be a reality. Surely there is one who will look past their one term of being an elected (well some are) member of parliment to build something that will have a lasting dynasty for generations to come. What an inscription to have on your tombstone.
    The NDIS can & will happen as more and more of our politicians from all sides will eventually have the scales removed from their eyes so they can actually see the TRUE plight of many Australians, This is a very emotional subject, but we cannot really trust emotions as they often change, let alone fight a battle of this magnitude on emotion either, We just have to continue to ‘fight the good fight’, and everybody becomes a winner,

  • This is just a short note as I am emailing Tony Abbott about “…until the budget returns to strong surplus” statement as everyone should.

    Good on you Les Cope & Wendy Spencer. Max Watters you haven’t learned much being in the”disability sector” for 20 years when you make those comments and one example being “…be patient with this.”

    I have been a carer with my wife for 20 years providing for our daughter who as the result of ABI and has many physical disabilities – we are at the front line 24/7 and do not have the opportunity of knocking off our job at 5.00pm after a 9.00am start.

    Governments have to realise that their voters are more savy and have more cred that the pollies would like to believe.

    The “…strong surplus.” is pollyspeak for, it’s not a priority RIGHT NOW (maybe never) but I hear you? That is NOT A COMMITTMENT!

    I have been on committees in the “disability sector” over many years and they are too scared to “rock the boat” with governments regarding funding etc. As CARERS we must keep challenging pollies about our needs and the actual DELIVERY time of their policies as we are growing old at a great rate. I have had many meetings with four disabilities ministers since 2007 and you must get them out of their IVORY TOWER and bring them back into the REALWORLD – use the squeeky door approach.

    Bill Shorten keep up the great job you are doing and also to you John

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