TONY EASTLEY: The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, spoke a short time ago to AM's Naomi Woodley.
JENNY MACKLIN: Some states have already offered to make a fair share contribution to the costs of a National Disability Insurance Scheme launch site in their state and, of course, we hope and expect the other states will too.
NAOMI WOODLEY: But do you expect to be able to announce all four sites today?
JENNY MACKLIN: We would certainly hope so. That's our objective. We've put our money on the table. Even in very difficult financial circumstances, the Commonwealth made sure that the National Disability Insurance Scheme was a priority. A billion dollars is a lot of money.
This is so that we can get started with a disability insurance scheme in four places around Australia and I certainly do hope and expect that we will be able to announce those places today.
NAOMI WOODLEY: But the one billion dollars in this year's Budget is well short of the overall cost of the scheme that's expected to be once it is up and running across the country. Will you be deciding today what is a fair percentage for the Commonwealth and states to be paying of those overall costs?
JENNY MACKLIN: What we want to get to today is the first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme getting off the ground. That's today's job. It's to make sure that in four places around Australia we can stop the terrible lottery that goes on for people with disability and their families who never know whether or not they're going to have a home for their adult child when a parent dies or whether they're going to know that they're going to be able to afford the equipment that a child with cerebral palsy needs.
This is what we have to end. We want to start the National Disability Insurance from today. The Commonwealth put a billion dollars on the table from our Budget and it's time for the states to do the same.
Some have put money on the table and that's very, very welcome but it's only fair that the other states do too.
TONY EASTLEY: The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, speaking to Naomi Woodley.
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