E & OE – Proof only
KIERAN GILBERT: Jenny Macklin thanks for your time.
JENNY MACKLIN: Thank you.
KIERAN GILBERT: Will the four launch sites for the NDIS be announced today?
JENNY MACKLIN: I'm certainly optimistic. The Commonwealth has put $1 billion from our budget into the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, and we do have some states willing to do their part to pay their fair share so that we can start a National Disability Insurance Scheme in July next year.
KIERAN GILBERT: They apparently want you to put more in. You've announced $1 billion. Is there any chance the Government will up that amount?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well the Government's put a billion dollars on the table, and that's around 78 per cent of the costs of the first stage, or the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. So a big increase from us already. What we're saying to the states is that we think it's only fair that they put a contribution in, and some states have already made clear in their budgets that they're willing to do that.
KIERAN GILBERT: Other states haven't, and we'll get to that in a moment because Campbell Newman said they're not going to put in an extra dollar. But just to pin you down on whether the Federal Government will put more in.
JENNY MACKLIN: Well we've got a billion dollars on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: But you haven't answered the question though.
JENNY MACKLIN: …what we're putting on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: So far. But will you consider putting more in?
JENNY MACKLIN: We don't need to put more in. We've put a billion dollars on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: So you won't - there won't be any more federal funding out of today?
JENNY MACKLIN: That's our budget position. Our budget position is very clear that we're putting a billion dollars on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: That's a budget position, but what's the COAG position?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well that's how we obviously want to pursue our discussions today; we've put our money on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: So the report today's wrong?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well the report today I suspect is coming from states who want to see the Commonwealth put more on the table. My response to those states is do the right thing as other states have done and put some money on the table.
KIERAN GILBERT: The Queensland Government says it's not going to put one extra dollar than what they already spend. So you're not getting a lot of co-operation. I suppose you can, we can rule out their proposed site of Gympie for one of the launch sites. Is that a fair assessment?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well let's just talk about Queensland for a moment. First of all, Queensland spends a lot less than the other states on disability care and support. So Queenslanders with a disability are already getting a very raw deal. So for Mr Newman to say he's not going to put an extra dollar in for people with disability is absolutely devastating for those individuals and families. So that's the first thing.
KIERAN GILBERT: But, so Gympie; we can rule out Gympie?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well Gympie's not even a serious proposition from Mr Campbell [sic]. They put a two-page letter to the Commonwealth, not a serious expression of interest. Other states put nearly 100 pages of detailed proposal to us. Mr Campbell Newman puts in a two-page proposition, doesn't even mention Gympie in the proposal that he put to us; only mentioned that yesterday in a media interview.
KIERAN GILBERT: Okay, so it's not a chance obviously.
JENNY MACKLIN: Well he's not making a serious proposal.
KIERAN GILBERT: All right, let's…
JENNY MACKLIN: …and he's not putting any money with it.
KIERAN GILBERT: Let's look at the $15 billion funding arrangement for this in the longer term. The states want some detail on how that's going to be set up. It seems like this argy-bargy at the moment is a bit of a litmus test for that as to who's going to fund this in the long-term. Will there be more detail out of today on that?
JENNY MACKLIN: No. Today we expect to get the issue of the start of the scheme - the launch of the scheme resolved. That's what's been agreed with the states and territories; that today is about getting the scheme launched.
Of course over the next few months we will need to do more work on the long-term funding of the scheme. But today is about making sure we get started so that people with disability don't have to wait any longer.
KIERAN GILBERT: Jenny Macklin, I know you've got a busy day, you've got to go. Thanks for that.
JENNY MACKLIN: Thank you.
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