ALA welcomes NDIS initiative

10th May 2012

“The ALA today welcomes the Federal Government’s initial commitment to start funding the NDIS, but remains concerned regarding the long term financial sustainability of the scheme.”

“There is no doubt the government needs to be doing more to help the disability sector, but funding will always remain a problem in such a large project,” ALA President-elect, Tony Kerin, said.

“The Federal Budget announcement of $1 billion being set aside does not quell concerns from ALA, and others, that the disability sector may suffer significant disappointment when it comes to NDIS service delivery,” he said.

The ALA is a national legal organisation that promotes access to justice, and which originally began in 1994 to protect the rights of the injured and disabled.

“On information to date less than one-eighth of the four million Australians with a disability will be covered under NDIS,” Mr Kerin said

“The ALA is concerned about some of the proposals and comments in the Productivity Commission Report, which conclude with a championing of a NDIS as the only option to help the disability sector,” he said.

Mr Kerin said there remained concern about some of the statistical analysis, policy evaluation, and lack of inclusion for a range of people in the statistical analysis of disability issues. These included, indigenous persons, people living within prisons and the homeless.

“There is too much at stake to risk getting this wrong. Australia needs to comply with its legal obligations and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

"Optional structures need to be properly examined as part of this process rather than the suggested model being a foregone conclusion. Consultation with a disability sector is vital.”

Mr Kerin went on to say that the ALA was not alone in its concerns, state treasurers were also expressing fears as to how the scheme would be funded and defined.

“Robust public discussion with all relevant parties should be the next step to ensure the rights of Australians with disabilities is properly considered,” he said.

Tags: Disability NDIS Access to justice