Friday, 30 September 2011
Senator Mitch Fifield visits Forde for community disability discussion
Bert van Manen MP invited Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield to Forde yesterday for a meeting with local teachers from Beenleigh Special School and disability advocates.
Mr van Manen is working together with Senator Fifield to ensure the 4 million Australians currently living with a disability have government assistance with employment and income support.
“Many Australians with a disability face significant challenges in fully participating in work, family life and the community,” Mr van Manen said.
“Here in Forde, we need to not only provide support for people with a disability, but also make fuller use of their skills, talents and capabilities.”
Mr van Manen is concerned a Labor Government will not be able to implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme because of the huge budget deficit.
“The Government would be in a much better position to give people with disabilities a better deal if they hadn’t wasted so much money on ill-thought-through schemes like pink batts, over-priced school halls and the National Broadband Network,” Mr van Manen said.
“The current disability support scheme is underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate support.
“The status quo is no longer an option. We need real action to put a better model in place to help get the best possible outcome for Australians with a disability. We can and should do better.”
Mr Van Manen fully supports the introduction of the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which has been hailed as the ‘biggest social-economic reform Australia has seen since the introduction of Medicare’ by disability advocates.
The national scheme would provide insurance cover for all Australians in the event of the significant disability, no matter how the disability was acquired. The funding of the scheme is estimated to cost $6.5 billion.
Mr van Manen said he looks forward to working with local schools and disability networks to ensure their voices are heard.