Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Disability iT Matters

Greens call for action on no-fault insurance scheme as stepping stone to NDIS

Greens Statement

WA has already missed out on the early rollout of launch sites for the NDIS because of inaction by the Barnett Government including its failure to set up a no-fault insurance scheme.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said people living with a disability in WA would be denied access to the benefits of the NDIS because the State Government had been tardy in committing and preparing for this reform.

"A no-fault insurance scheme is part of the process for the NDIS, a national insurance scheme designed to provide funding and support services to people with disabilities," Senator Siewert said.

Her comments come ahead of tomorrow’s hearing in Perth of the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into the NDIS Bill.

Greens candidate for Warnbro, Jordon Steele-John, who has experienced first-hand the lack of choice and access in disability services in WA, said people living with a disability in WA were extremely disappointed that they would miss out on the first round of benefits from the NDIS.

"For many WA people, being denied access to the benefits of the disability reform that the rest of the country will share is a huge disappointment," Mr Steele-John said.

“WA people living with a disability deserve access to all areas of life and want all parties to make a firm commitment to the NDIS and to demonstrate that commitment.”

Greens spokesperson for Disability, Alison Xamon MLC, today affirmed her party's commitment to the NDIS and called on the WA Liberal and Labor parties to make an immediate commitment to bring in the no-fault insurance scheme within twelve months.

"After first indicating that WA would not be joining the NDIS at all, the Barnett Government has now indicated that it will participate in the design of the NDIS, but it has taken no practical steps to show how WA is preparing to transition to the scheme.

“The WA Government has previously promised to begin work on a no-fault scheme for motor vehicle accidents but on Friday they indicated that we will need to wait at least another 12 months to finish even scoping this work and make a decision about its feasibility. The ALP have been equally vague about the timelines.

"The Greens are committed to the principles of no-fault insurance and understand how important this work is to the broader reform. We will push hard to keep this issue on the agenda and ensure that legislation to enact a no-fault insurance scheme is introduced within the next 12 months.

"We need to make sure that residents in WA will not be left behind while other states start rolling out the biggest reform people living with a disability in Australia have ever experienced," Ms Xamon said.

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