Address to the ‘Make It Real’ Rally
Federation Square, Melbourne
30 April 2012
We are here today with a common purpose. And that is to make a clear and unequivocal statement. Australians with disability and their families have had to wait far too long for a better deal.
But more importantly we are here today to commit to a new covenant. To a new deal that puts people with disability at the centre and in charge of their lives. A new deal that ends the rationing. That ends the waiting lists. That ends the disability lottery.
We are a first world country. We are a wealthy country. We should be doing better. Proper support for people with disability should be core government business. An NDIS is an idea whose time has come.
The Federal Coalition wants an NDIS. The Federal Coalition supports an NDIS. An NDIS is a priority for me. An NDIS is a priority for Tony Abbott. We expect and would welcome funding for an NDIS in the Federal Budget next week. And if it’s there, we will support it.
It is so important that an NDIS be above partisan politics. Australians with a disability have a low threshold for political point scoring when it comes to disability policy. They just want things fixed.
And to ensure a non-partisan approach to an NDIS, Tony Abbott and I have proposed a joint committee of the Parliament to be co-chaired by the disabilities frontbenchers of both sides of politics. To provide bi-partisan support and oversight for the implementation of the NDIS. An NDIS should be owned by the Parliament as a whole. An NDIS should be owned by the nation as a whole.
I pledge myself and the Federal Coalition, whether in opposition or in government, to work with all parties to deliver a better deal for Australians with disability, to deliver an NDIS.
It’s time to make the NDIS a reality. Let’s make it real.