Posted on 02. Mar, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government must not use the prospect of a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to avoid its funding responsibilities in this year’s budget, Shadow Minister for Disability Services Danielle Green said today.

Ms Green said until the scheme was agreed upon and implemented, Premier Ted Baillieu had a responsibility to provide quality care for Victorians with a disability, their families and carers.

“Labor supports the formation of a NDIS, however the scheme will not be implemented for some time and Mr Baillieu needs to continue to invest in disability services in this year’s budget,” Ms Green said.

“During the election, the Baillieu Government committed to invest just $20 million for supported accommodation the next four years.

“Committing $5 million each year will just not be enough – it will increase pressure on families as well provide inadequate support for Victorians with a disability.

“This pales in comparison to the $70 million investment into disability services made by Labor in last year’s Budget alone. This included $22 million over four years to community service agencies to provide high-quality support accommodation.

“People with a disability have the right to live with dignity, to be as independent as they can, and to participate as fully as possible within their community. This can only happen if Mr Baillieu continues to fund the supports and services that Victorians with a disability use everyday.”

Labor provided historic levels of investment in disability services.

Ms Green said the Baillieu Government needed to continue to invest in housing and support services that grant people with a disability choice in where they live.

“Last year’s budget also provided over $80 million to support students with disabilities, including autism,” she said. “The previous Government also committed a further $2.4 million for the establishment of Inclusion Support Programs to provide further educational options and support for students with Autism.

“Mr Baillieu needs to build on last year’s budget which provided $4.7 million in new capital funding and over $5 million in operating funds to deliver an additional 15 facility-based respite places for people with high and complex needs across Victoria.

“Until the NDIS is implemented, Mr Baillieu needs to commit to continuing to provide the best possible supports for people with a disability to help them to live as independently as possible.”

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