NDIS scheme roll-out ‘confusing’

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser

Local disability advocates say they have been left in the dark by State and Federal governments in their discussions and decision-making over the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Kimberley.

The full roll-out of the NDIS in WA is due to begin on July 1, 2017.

The two governments were due to sign a bilateral agreement on October 31 to decide whether a State-administered model or a Commonwealth-run scheme would be rolled out in WA, but a decision was not reached.

Broome mother and primary carer Caterina Ponzio said the issue with the roll-out of the NDIS in the Kimberley was the lack of consultation with the people who were meant to be at the centre of the discussions.

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“People with disabilities in the Kimberley, unlike the rest of Australia, have been mostly excluded from this process and we still don’t know what is really going on and what the agreements or disagreements are between the governments,” she said.

Broome resident Stephen “Baamba” Albert, who lives with disability, said he felt the process was “confusing”, especially for people living remotely.

Mr Albert said he was currently involved in setting up a network to support indigenous people with disability and provide them with a platform to advise the State Government of their needs and concerns.

Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher said the State Government was still in “constructive negotiation” with the Commonwealth over how the NDIS will be delivered in WA, and a community engagement forum had been held on August 30 to help inform the future rollout of the NDIS.

Shadow Minister for Disability Services Stephen Dawson said the governments’ failure to agree to a planned roll-out of an NDIS in WA had left people with disability “in limbo”.

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