15 March 2016
MEDIA RELEASE: Deal or no deal for Queensland’s disabled community?
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision today to sign an agreement to roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a welcome step forward but Youngcare CEO Samantha Kennerley has warned people with disabilities their struggle for better care is far from over.
Mrs Kennerley said it remained to be seen whether the Federal Government would also sign off on the deal, details of which have not been released to the public or disability sector.
“The Queensland Government has signed deals before, which Canberra has then refused to approve,” Mrs Kennerley said.
“Until both our state and federal leaders agree on how the NDIS will work in Queensland and who will fund it no real progress will be made.
“I urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to make a deal with Queensland his top priority.
“This political sparring is slowly freezing the disability care sector and has gone on long enough.”
Mrs Kennerley highlighted the plight of a 19-year-old Queensland woman, who Youngcare are advocating for, as an example of the suffering being caused by Queensland’s NDIS delay.
The woman was left with extremely high care needs after she suffered traumatic brain injuries in a car accident two years ago and has been declared eligible to receive funded accommodation support – allowing her to live at home or in an age-appropriate facility.
But her family has been told no funding will be released until the introduction of the NDIS, meaning she could be forced to move from hospital into an aged care home.
Queensland is now the only NDIS state not to have signed a bilateral funding agreement with Canberra. The scheme will cover much of Sydney by the end of the year but there is no date for when it will be rolled out in Queensland.
“Queenslanders with a disability deserve better than this,” Mrs Kennerley said.
“The NDIS will improve all of their lives – so why are they being made to wait?”
MEDIA CONTACT: Stuart Sherwin, Sequel PR – 0403 090 914 or 07 3251 81.