This is probably the most significant development in the lives of Australians with disabilities and their carers since I started working in the field in 1971, so you'll have to excuse me if I have a little celebratory post.
had some fantastic news. State and Territory governments agreed to deliver the
foundational work for the National Disability Insurance Scheme by mid 2013 - a
year earlier than the Productivity Commission recommended.
It is all
your hard work and support that has made this happen. Your voices have been
heard and all your campaigning has made a difference. Take a moment to reflect
on how far we have all come together.
Our politicians are
listening. But we still need to get out in the community and make sure everyone
understands why we need an NDIS.
The Federal Government said at
yesterday's inaugural COAG Select Council meeting that it "wants to see
improvements to disability care and support as quickly as possible".
The State and Territory Disability Ministers and Treasurers all agreed
on a timetable for delivering the foundation reforms necessary for the
introduction of an NDIS. These reforms include common assessment tools to
determine eligibility and strategies to boost the disability workforce.
The Select Council also considered the draft principles to be agreed on
by COAG. These principles will guide the work of the Select Council in pursuing
reform of disability services.
And earlier this week the advisory body
established by the government to provide advice to the Select Council also met
for the first time.
So it is clear that all your hard work is
making a difference. But we cannot give up - we need to keep the pressure