15 February 2010
DISABILITY CARE BEDS CONCERNS AIRED
Senator Mitch Fifield, the Coalition’s spokesman for Disabilities, today expressed concern at reports on the progress of the Rudd Government’s $100 million plan to provide 300 new residential care beds for the severely disabled.
Claims will be aired on ABC’s Four Corners tonight that just 40 of the 300 beds funded and promised by the Rudd Government have been delivered.
In a joint media release on 4 May 2008, regarding the Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA), the Prime Minister, with the Minister for Families and Community Services, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, said:
“This new $100 million in capital funding will be provided immediately to State and Territory Governments…The previous Government was planning to deliver this $900 million in funding independent of the States and Territories, duplicating administrative costs and missing the opportunity to attract matching funding.”
The report, Breaking Point, to be aired tonight at 8.30pm, also claims that zero new beds have been delivered in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
“The Rudd Government took a risk handing funding and responsibility to the Labor State Governments to deliver these additional beds, given their poor track record of service delivery. If these reports are correct, it represents another broken Rudd promise.
“Whether it’s computers in schools, home insulation or beds for the severely disabled, the Rudd Government either bungles or fails to deliver,” Senator Fifield said.