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February 19, 2013

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says it will take several parliaments to fulfil the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Mr Chester has been supporting the implementation of the scheme since his election in 2008 but said that while Federal Parliament was united in its voice of support for the scheme, it would require a major funding commitment from not only the current government but also successive governments.

“There is a concern that we do not really know how we are going to fully pay for the future stage of the implementation,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“We really have not figured out yet in this place, through the budgetary process how we are going to pay for the full implementation of the NDIS.

“It will take men and women of good faith on both sides of Parliament to deliver this reform and to commit to the funding that is so desperately required.”

Mr Chester said the current system of disability care and the support that it offered were unsustainable.

“If one thing has been made very clear over the past five years it is that the current system of disability support services is broken and that a wealthy nation like Australia can certainly do better,” Mr Chester said.

“The difficulty for people working in the current system right now is that they feel that every aspect of the current system for them is a struggle.

“It is confusing, there is duplication across different jurisdictions, there are no consistent rules across state borders and we cannot even agree on what a disability is across different state borders.

“We do not have a consistent definition for people who move from state to state.”

“The NDIS should not be seen as a holy grail. It is not going to solve all the problems of people with disabilities or their carers.

“It is not offering any cure for the ailments they may suffer but it is going to make their lives just a bit easier.”

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