TRANSCRIPT - Doorstop interview
West Gosford, New South Wales
Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks
25 August 2015
Australian Disability Enterprises, National Disability Insurance Scheme
It is great to be on the Central Coast with Lucy Wicks to
open the Fare Cravin’ coffee shop which is a terrific enterprise that provides
employment for people with disability.
There are around 20,000 people who receive employment
through Disability Enterprises in about 200 ventures and we are very pleased to
announce today that the Government is confirming there will be $650 million
over the next three years to provide certainty to Disability Enterprises as
they transition into the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The good news is
that is about $6 million on the Central Coast to support Disability Enterprises
that provide work for people who face extra challenges.
And that money, over three years, what 2.1 every year, or
broken up that way?
Well, it is money that will go to Disability Enterprises
to help them support staff to get that extra help that they need.
And how will the money be distributed?
It's given to given to the individual disability
enterprises on the basis of the number of supported employees that they have.
Is this a tool to soften the blow of a potential delay in
the roll-out of the NDIS?
Not at all. Disability Enterprises were always going to
transition gradually into the National Disability Insurance Scheme and this is
to provide certainty and continuity of support to people during that transition
period. But we are determined to deliver the NDIS in full.
If there is a cut to income tax, as suggested by the
Treasurer, will that not complicate the potential roll-out?
Well, the funding for the NDIS is laid out over the
forward estimates. We are determined to deliver the NDIS in full and to make
the necessary funding available for that to happen.
The Heads of Agreement that the Commonwealth has with the
state jurisdictions has a target date of 2019 and that’s what we are working
What is the latest date for the rollout of the NDIS here?
I am in the middle of negotiations with jurisdictions as
to how the NDIS will roll out beyond the current trial sites. And those
negotiations go to the phasing of the scheme region by region.
Ok so I think by mid next year by the earliest still?
Well the middle of next year is the target to
progressively roll out the NDIS beyond the current trial sites.
A day like today, is that when it is a reality check?
When you actually see a coffee shop opening, you said it was your first ever
coffee shop opening, which is a big moment for you, but is that kind of the, I
guess it makes you feel that what you’re doing is worthwhile? That you have
seen the results of schemes in place?
Absolutely, what the National Disability Insurance Scheme
will do for people really represents the core business of government. And that
is providing extra support that is needed for the people who face challenges
for reasons beyond their control. That’s why people pay their taxes, they are
happy to pay their taxes for that. And I am very pleased that people with
disabilities are starting to get the better deal that they deserve.
The Opposition has questioned whether or not the
Government fully supports and believes in the scheme. It has been suggested
that you are crawling, crab crawling I think was the term, the phrase, by the
Opposition Leader in terms of the support and the roll-out of the scheme. Why
can't they just be a set date and an assurance to the people as to when it is
going to happen?
Well, we have a target date which is embedded in the
intergovernmental agreements between the Commonwealth and the jurisdictions of
2019. That’s the date that we are working towards. I wasn't put in the job of
Minister for Disabilities for any other reason than to deliver the NDIS in full
and that’s my absolute commitment to do that.
But across the trials happening further north, what have
we learned so far? They have been going for quite a few months now, any lessons
Yes, there are some lessons that have been learnt. I
think that one of them is that it is really important to make sure that NDIS
participants are aware of the mainstream services that are available. There may
be services in the health sector, the education sector. Firstly to make sure
that they access those services, then to talk to someone about what are their
goals and aspirations. And at that point to look at what other funded supports
can help them achieve their goal. Rather than giving someone a menu of funded
items, talk to them about what are their plans, what are their goals and then
use the NDIS funded supports to help them achieve their goals.
[inaudible] as opposed to the state’s 18 per cent, is
that a consideration in terms of the roll-out and available funds to the
Well, the NDIS will be rolled out throughout New South
Wales. We are currently negotiating what will be the order, region by region,
and one of the things we'll look at will be where you've got good service
providers who are ready for the
transition and this is an area that's got some great service providers.
You’re going up to Central Coast Living Options tomorrow.
I’ve got your agenda in my hand here. Last week, they had a visit by the State
Disability Minister, it looks like they were going to be some funds available,
but they weren't. Are we looking at some cheques being signed up there
tomorrow? They’re quite desperate for some cash.
Well, I will listen to what their concerns are, I
regularly talk to the New South Wales Minister and we try and work very closely
together and we are doing that presently with the negotiations with the
roll-out of the NDIS.
Certainly been promising the NDIS on the horizon. I guess
the fear is that there will be people with cash in hand and there won't be any
facilities for them to live or work. Are you confident that will be ready?
Well, we’ve got to make sure that we get the roll-out
right. We’ve got to do whatever we can to make sure service providers are
teady. There will need to be a significant increase in the workforce in the
disability sector. We’ve got to work and plan with the sector to make sure that
we roll-out the NDIS in areas that are ready and prepared.
Lucy, good to see I suppose some cash flowing in?
Look, this is fantastic for the Fairhaven community here.
I think seeing the opening of Fare Cravin’, a fantastic coffee shop, beautiful
coffee, and I want to encourage people to stop by and have a beautiful organic
coffee. It’s wonderful to see additional employment opportunities for people on
the Central Coast.
And is this something that you would like to see more of,
this sort of model?
I think this is an outstanding model
here. I think Fairhaven Services do a wonderful job in our community they’ve
been around for several decades. It’s a well-loved, well-established brand. I
do encourage people to come along and to have a coffee. To enjoy this
beautiful, beautiful coffee shop.
Vincent Tulley | 0409
244 865 | Vincent.firstname.lastname@example.org