SHORTEN: ALL TALK NO ACTION ON DISABILITY HOUSING
Senator Mitch Fifield, the Coalition’s spokesman for Disabilities, today expressed serious concern at the emerging gap between what the Rudd Government promises and what it delivers for people with disabilities.
Following revelations on 15 February by the Four Corners program that just 40 of the Government’s promised 300 new disability care beds had been delivered, ABC News has today reported that Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, appears to know nothing about the Government’s $100 million plan.
Mr Shorten told ABC through a spokesman:
“We do not know when the beds were tendered for, nor when they were approved, who the providers are, nor where they were.”
In May 2008 the Prime Minister announced the Federal Government was handing the states $100 million to deliver 300 new disability care beds.
“It seems that is where the Rudd Government’s interest in the program began and ended. The lack of follow up and continued monitoring shows a cavalier attitude to the people who need these services and a complete disregard for $100 million of taxpayers’ money,” Senator Fifield said.
On Four Corners last week Bill Shorten attempted to shift responsibility onto the State Governments by saying:
“We give the money to the states.”
“Kevin Rudd promised in the 2007 election to end the blame game. He said the buck would stop with him. The Rudd Government gifted this money to the states, and now that the states have failed to deliver, they want the states to take the blame too. Kevin Rudd and Bill Shorten need to take responsibility for their decisions and get this program back on track.
“If they don’t, it will be clear that this is yet another example of how the Rudd Government promises a lot but delivers very little,” said Senator Fifield.