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Mar 29, 2014
Daniel Kyriacou

MEDIA RELEASE – GROUNDHOG DAY – NDIS COSTS OLD NEWS

MEDIA RELEASE - GROUNDHOG DAY – NDIS COSTS OLD NEWS

A report today in The Australian rehashes previously released figures on the ‘cost blowout’ in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, John Della Bosca, said: “Today’s report is old news; I remember addressing the media on these exact figures in November last year.

“So far we have had just two quarterly reports on the cost of supports under the NDIS. Despite the alarmist headlines, costs have significantly reduced over this period not blown out.

“In late December, the Government’s own independent audit of the scheme issued a warning against making cost projections on the actual cost of the NDIS from such early figures. I hope this evidence is not being ignored.”

Today’s report refers to the costs of individual packages under the NDIS previously announced in Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield’s speech to the National Press Club speech on 20 November 2013.

On 31 December 2013, the independently audited ‘Quarterly Report to Disability Reform Council’ found that it was too early to make projections on the actual cost of the NDIS.

John Della Bosca continued: “People with disability have been losing out on services for too long. They are too used to being let down by all sides of politics. They have waited long enough for a fair go and they should not have to wait any longer.

“The data I have seen shows that average package values are a poor indicator of overall cost. There are people receiving higher than average packages and others receiving well below the average.

“Some of the trial sites have started supporting people with the highest needs first. This naturally means that the early costs will be higher and will average out over time.

“There will continue to be challenges as the NDIS is implemented, but I’m confident that we can meet these challenges head-on. We need an efficient and effective NDIS that can work within its existing budget.”

Mr Della Bosca concluded: “The Prime Minister has promised to rollout the NDIS in full. Every Australian Counts is not calling for extra funding. We are simply asking that the Parliament deliver on the long term funding envelope and timeline already promised.”

Mar 20, 2014
Daniel Kyriacou

MEDIA RELEASE: NDIA review no excuse to deny people with disability a better future

MEDIA RELEASE: NDIA review no excuse to deny people with disability a better future

A review released today raises doubts about the timeline currently in place to roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

John Della Bosca, Every Australian Counts Campaign Director said: “I hope this report is not used by some commentators to argue delaying the NDIS. The scheme is already taking over seven years to rollout.

“Rolling out the NDIS is a big job, but it’s hardly sending someone to the moon and it should not take a decade to deliver.

“As damning as this report is on the on the Agency, it is nowhere near as damning as the Productivity Commission’s report on the current disability system.

“The starting point for any conversation about the NDIS has to be focussed on the real crisis. People with disability are currently denied access to participate in our community and economy. They are treated as second class citizens. The NDIS aims to address this national injustice.

“Australians want an NDIS that works. We need to take the time to get the NDIS right.”

Mr Della Bosca concluded: “We must also acknowledge that every delay in rolling out the NDIS means Australians with disability and their families will struggle without the supports they desperately need.”

Contact: info@everyaustraliancounts.com.au

Mar 17, 2014
Fiona Anderson

NDIS: helping people work and participate

We hear a lot of talk about the cost of the NDIS, but let’s not get side-tracked.

What our political leaders and the public need to really understand is the economic return on investment that the NDIS will generate, as it provides the platform for greater social and economic participation for people with disability and their families. Like these Australians:

3 Australians explain the economic benefits of individualised disability funding. Picture 1: Vanessa and her daughter Tayla. Vanessa says: "Caring for Tayla when my husband became ill meant we were in crisis relying on emergency support. With our NDIS plan, Tayla's potential is being realised, I have more work opportunities and our other daughter is getting more of the time and attention she deserves. Suddenly we all have real choices and are a much bigger part of the community." Picture 2: Damien the TV boom operator. Damien says: "With individualised support I got a job with a real wage in open employment. It's something I'm passionate about and now I rely less on my pension, pay my own rent and bills and have savings too. I feel like I'm in control."  Picture 3: Sean and his daughter Alex.  Sean says: "After my accident I was determined to find a way back to work and a normal life. Individual support funding paid for my wheelchair, home modifications and personal and work support which enabled me to set up an assistive technology business for people with disabilities. This helped me buy my own home, support my family and give back."

3 Australians explain the economic benefits of individualised disability funding. The funding pays for supports which enable them to work, care for their families and be part of everyday life.

As NDIS Chair Bruce Bonyhady says:

“Without the NDIS, the nation would miss out on the 1 per cent boost to GDP that the Productivity Commission found the scheme would generate through greater workforce participation by people with disability and their carers.”

Do you think all the new MPs in federal Parliament understand how important the NDIS is to you and your family?

Email us at info@everyaustraliancounts.com.au

We will send your views and hopes on to new federal MPs, who represent you in Parliament.

Feb 18, 2014
Geraldine Mellet

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Perth Hills Expression of Interest for Advisory Groups

National Disability Insurance Scheme - Perth Hills   Expression of Interest for Advisory Groups

The National Disability Insurance Agency is responsible for the implementation of the Perth Hills Trial Site for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  The Perth Hills Trial Site is due to commence on the 1st July 2014 for a period of two years.

 The Trial Site is one of three in Western Australia.   Two other My Way/NDIS sites, Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana, will be operated by the Disability Services Commission.

 The Perth Hills Trial Site includes the Local Government Areas of:

  •  City of Swan         
  • Shire of Mundarine
  • Shire of Kalamunda

Information sharing with, and feedback from all stakeholder groups is essential for the best possible outcomes to be achieved.

 This Expression of Interest is targeted at those stakeholders with direct links to the Perth Hills geographical area.  There are a range of categories of people that we are keen to have represented.  It is likely that any one person fits in more than one category.  It is also important that people have skills and competencies that enable them to share information with wider networks and express views from their own and others experience.  People with lived experience of disability and mental illness will be assisted with tailored support as they require.

 Categories

 Consumer – Disability

Consumer – Mental Health

Carer/ Family Member – Disability

Carer/Family Member – Mental Health

Service Provider – Disability

Service Provider – Mental Health

Consumer Representative Organisation

Service Provider Organisation

Local Government

Service Provider – Mainstream Services

People with particular knowledge of Perth Hills people and places.

 Personal Competencies

 1.    An active contributor with genuine interest in the implementation of NDIS in Perth Hills

  1. 2.    Willing to speak up and ask questions
  2. 3.    Able to listen to and work with other members of the group
  3. 4.    Capacity to share with and draw upon a network of relevant people.

Payment

 People who are not attending as part of paid employment will be reimbursed for meeting related expenses.

 If you are interested in being considered for selection for an Advisory role please complete the following pages.  Feel free to seek assistance with the paperwork.

 Please return the information to:

 Marita Walker

Manager

Perth Hills Trial Site, National Disability Insurance Agency.

maritaw@phcs.org.au   ( temporary email address )

 Applicants who

 a)    return their nomination form by 7th March 2014, and

b)   are short listed

will be invited to an Information Session to be held in the Midland area on the afternoon of Wednesday 18th March 2014.  Please hold this date in your diary.  A formal invitation will be sent early in March.

Dec 18, 2013
John Della Bosca

Media Release: NDIS is investment in Australians

Media Release: NDIS is investment in Australians

NDIS is investment in Australians

The Every Australian Counts campaign for the NDIS welcomes the statement from Minister Fifield this afternoon that: “The Coalition is committed to delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme in full.”

John Della Bosca, Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, said: “We can all assume that every Australian expects the NDIS to run efficiently and at the lowest cost to taxpayers. Every Australian also expects our parliament to deliver the NDIS in full as promised.

“We are focussed on outcomes for people with disability. Members of Parliament, both Coalition and Labor committed to a scheme that will provide people with disability the support they need when they need it.

“It is this promise that we expect our Parliament to keep. It would be a disaster for every Australian if supports were capped and the funding for vital equipment was reduced. This would undermine the core principles behind the NDIS.

“We know we have strong advocates in Prime Minister Abbott and Minister Fifield as well in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister Macklin. They have proven their passion about improving the lives of people with disability and their families.

“Today in every corner of Australia people with disability are blocked from contributing to Australia’s economy because our disability systems do not provide supports they need.

“By providing the reasonable and necessary supports and services that people with disability need to live, work and contribute to society, the NDIS will be the bridge to escape the disability-poverty trap that forces people onto welfare against their will.

Mr Della Bosca concluded: “The flow-on effect throughout the community should not be underestimated. Supporting Australians with disability will free an estimated 80,000 family carers to also enter paid employment, instead of giving up their jobs and earning capacity to provide life-long disability support.

“And with approximately 120,000 new disability workers required over the next five years the NDIS will generate the benefits of productive employment to the nation.”

Dec 13, 2013
John Della Bosca

MEDIA RELEASE: You can change the name, but the scheme must remain

MEDIA RELEASE: You can change the name, but the scheme must remain

Following the COAG meeting today, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) ‘launch sites’ will be renamed ‘trial sites’.

The term ‘launch’ was initially selected over the term ‘trial’ by the Productivity Commission as a message to the community and policy makers that there would be no turning back once the rollout of the NDIS began.

Every Australian Counts Campaign Director, John Della Bosca, said: “You can change the name of the NDIS, you can rename the launch sites but you can’t walk away from the NDIS becoming a reality.

“Over the last three years we have built a group of almost 160,000 supporters who want nothing more than the NDIS to be fully implemented. They will accept no back tracking from the government on this.

“To this end we welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to learning from the first phase of the NDIS to ensure it can be rolled out nationally and be sustainable.”

Mr Della Bosca concluded: “The NDIS is one of the biggest social reforms Australia has ever seen. We accept that rolling it out will take time and will have its challenges.

“The commitment to rollout the NDIS is a promise that our political leaders can’t walk away from.”

 

Nov 21, 2013
John Della Bosca

Media Release: NDIS – A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT

Media Release: NDIS – A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT

For immediate release – 21 November 2013

Since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) started out on its long journey in July, it has found the road a little rocky in places.

That is not surprising, of course, with an initiative of such size and complexity. To their credit, policymakers are not allowing the obstacles to break their stride. As John Della Bosca of the Every Australian Counts Campaign put it, “It’s a great win for Australians with disability that governments are seeing the NDIS as a marathon, not a sprint.

“Neither the Federal Government, nor New South Wales, have allowed themselves to get sidetracked — they are both totally committed to the long-term success of the NDIS.

“They know you can’t determine its social impact in the first five months of a seven-year rollout.”

Senator Mitch Fifield, the federal minister responsible for the NDIS, revealed this week that the average cost of individual support packages, as well as demand for access to the scheme, were higher than expected.

But Mr Fifield called for the NDIS to be above politics and repeated that he is “determined, absolutely determined, be in no doubt — to see the NDIS delivered in full”.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government’s move to transfer all government-run disability services to the non-government sector by 2018, in preparation for the full NDIS rollout, has become law.

Disability Services Minister John Ajaka said the passage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NSW Enabling) Bill on 20 November 2013 was a great moment for people with disability, their families, carers and support workers.

Under the NDIS, annual funding for the NSW disability sector would more than double, from over $2.5 billion to $6.4 billion each year by 2018, Mr Ajaka said.

Mr Della Bosca said the move confirmed the success of NSW not-for-profit providers. “The non-government sector already delivers around 60 per cent of all disability supports in NSW, and millions of hours a year of frontline support across Australia.

“The NDIS has always had great support from the O’Farrell government, the first to sign up to the scheme. This move will make sure people with disability get what the NDIS intends for them — a stronger, more flexible and more competitive disability services market,” Mr Della Bosca added

“The scheme will change lives, empower citizens and make Australia a fairer and more productive nation.”

Nov 15, 2013
John Della Bosca

NDIS: A Fairer Australia Makes Business Sense

NDIS: A Fairer Australia Makes Business Sense

Today the Australian News Paper published an opinion piece by the campaign in response to a speech by Maurice Newman the senior executive who chairs Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council.You can read news reports about the speech here: http://ab.co/188Bx0T. You can read media coverage about the Every Australian Counts response to Maurice Newman here: http://bit.ly/17Wf8G4

 

Full Text of our Opinion Piece: 
A Fairer Australia Makes Business sense

When Prime Minister Abbott won the election his first priority was to reassure Australia that his government would fast track key infrastructure projects and improve productivity. It is the cause of productivity and fiscal prudence that should be the strongest motive to deliver on his word to be “Dr Yes” when it comes to the NDIS.

Many in the community are angry that the most ambitious and productive infrastructure project of a generation has been completely misunderstood and misrepresented by the government’s most senior business advisor, Maurice Newman.  The National Disability Insurance Scheme is by definition every bit as much an infrastructure projects as any road, dam or port. It will provide a new pathway to the basic social and economic rights denied to most Australians with disabilities.

Through the NDIS hundreds of thousands of Australians will be able to work, earn an income, pay tax, spend money, and save for their retirement. Basic rights most of us take for granted will add an enormous boost to productivity over time and reduce the budget risks that bad disability policy has posed to the Commonwealth and State Budgets for the last two decades.

In his address on Monday Mr Newman characterised the NDIS as ‘worthy’ and a ‘good cause’ but something that risks jeopardising the nation’s economy.  This is puzzling since research by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that without the NDIS the economy faces an imminent crisis from the gap between the increasing number of people with disability and the decreasing number of families who will be able or available to provide the same levels of unpaid care into the future. Currently this ‘informal care’ network is providing at least 80% of the total support needs of Australians with disability.

Just for a moment calculate the cost if every informal carer in Australia took a four week holiday (something most carers could only dream of). Their multiple roles of nurse, physiotherapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, case co-ordinator, accountant, business manager, taxi driver, cook, cleaner and the rest would need to be performed at massive cost to the community.

Then there’s the myriad of hidden costs that an NDIS will reduce, such as the price of a hospital bed because you can’t live at home. And there is the utility forgone, when timely support or early intervention is unavailable. This means that lost opportunities to learn to speak or move independently or study or work result not only in a reduced lifestyle for the individual but loss of productivity for Australia.

Almost 45% of Australians with disability live in or near poverty for these reasons and a number have to draw on social security. The PwC report concluded that the cost of not implementing the NDIS would be greater over the next twenty years than actually funding the scheme. In fact, PricewaterhouseCoopers defines the NDIS as a critical enabler of Australia’s economic progress.

Curiously Mr Newman also bemoaned the fact that national workplace participation is falling, and is in fact is at its lowest in 7 years. He added that without further action, strong growth will be hard to achieve. But that selectively ignores the fact, according to PwC, and a host of other independent authorities including the Productivity Commission itself, that people with disability are woefully underemployed, only half as likely to have a job as their non-disabled counterparts. Internationally Australia is by far the worst performer in this regard, ranking 27th out of 27 OECD countries.

With the introduction of the NDIS PwC forecasts that it will provide the assistance needed to get an additional 370,000 people with disability and 80,000 carers or family into the workforce or increasing their hours by 2050 which will add almost $50 billion to the economy and 1.4% contribution to GDP, with many coming off the Disability Support pension. What is financially more responsible for the nation’s bank balance and social equilibrium

The passage to the introduction of the NDIS won’t be easy and no one expects it to be. There has been criticism that its timelines for consultation and implementation have been rushed and that may be true. I believe that most potential participants, even though they are doing it tough, would be prepared to consider a return to the original Productivity Commission timetable if it means there’s a better chance of getting it right in the long term. But it would be reckless, financially and politically, to scale back or dilute this brand new reform. It is still being tested and has been fought for by hundreds of thousands of Australians who remain determined to take their place with the rest of Australia. As a very emotional parent said online after reading Mr Newman’s comments: “Tried to post a response but just too angry. Million wheelies march to Canberra anyone?”

 


 

Oct 28, 2013

Good management of the NDIS critical

Media reports last week said the Federal Government is looking at absorbing the newly established agency administering the National Disability Insurance Scheme into Medibank Private, sparking concerns it was looking to scale back the scheme. 

Good management of the NDIS is critical and we expect people with disability and their families, carers and disability organisations who have worked so hard to not only introduce the NDIS but ensure open and accountable governance will demand scrutiny of any proposals to change the way the scheme is administered. Hundreds of thousands of campaigners expect the NDIS will be rolled out on time and in line with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

In response to the media reports Senator Mitch Fifield, the government minister responsible for the NDIS, said this:

“The Coalition will deliver the announced spending on the NDIS and we will honour the agreements for full roll out that are in place between the Commonwealth and the states and territories …

… there may be some administrative functions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) that the NDIA Board may determine in the future, in the light of launch site experience, could be contracted out through a competitive process. Businesses and not-for-profits could tender for such business if it was offered.” Read his full response here.

In line with the Productivity Commission recommendations the NDIA is a very different model of government agency with a board and Advisory Council,  plus governance shared by all State and Territory governments. In seeking to change decades of disadvantage for people with disabilities and families having a dedicated and independent agency with close and transparent links to the community is vital and hard-won.

We’ll keep a close eye on how the roll out and any proposals to change the administration of the NDIS, and keep you updated as it progresses.

You can read the Objects and Principles of the law currently governing the NDIS here.

Sep 9, 2013

The Promise

We did it.

During the Federal Election campaign it was crucial that the National Disability Insurance Scheme stayed on the agenda and it did – thanks to all our committed supporters.

On Saturday, Australia went to the polls and now we have a new government and a new Prime Minister to take us forward.

Our government has changed but The Promise our leaders made to implement the NDIS now and for the future has not.

On Every Australian Counts Day we were flooded with photos of supporters around the country with signs that said what The Promise means to them. You can see many of the photos here.

Soon we will deliver a book to Prime Minister elect, Tony Abbott made up of all those photos. When Mr Abbott receives this book he will be left in no doubt – he must keep The Promise.

The previous government had the vision to establish the NDIS and we thank them for their work and commitment. Now our newly elected government must continue this work and make it real for all Australians.

The Promise remains the same and there is no turning back.

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