From: GetUp! [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 4:55 PM
Subject: Campbell Newman: Give us an NDIS
We’re on the verge of something big: a nationwide insurance scheme to ensure that if you or your family member ever has to live with a disability, you won’t simply be left to fend for yourself. It’s a reform on the scale of Medicare that will save thousands of families from financial ruin.
Last week, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu heard from thousands of GetUp members, asking them to stop their bickering over funding and agree to help fund a trial of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. On Friday, they both agreed, joining other states around the country. Yet Queensland’s own Premier Campbell Newman is still refusing to step up.
Queensland currently spends less on people with disabilities than any other state in the country. Premier Newman says our state can’t afford it, but that’s just not true. Productivity Commission research finds that "far from imposing a cost, the NDIS will actually make Australia richer" – adding an estimated $32 billion to our nation’s GDP by 2050 through increased workforce participation1.
On top of that, Campbell Newman recently had no problem finding $80 million in taxpayers’ money to help the racing industry, but he can’t find $20 million in the budget to fund a scheme that will improve the lives of millions of Queenslanders living with a disability. This is really about priorities.
Campbell Newman might not want to listen to Julia Gillard or other Labor Premiers, but there’s a group he will listen to: his own backbenchers. Send a message to your local state MP that will get the party room talking: don’t let Queensland get left behind.
Disability support in Australia is currently described as a lottery. In some states, if you acquire a disability through a car accident for instance, you get help to cover the ongoing costs of your care. In others, if you’re born with a disability or acquire one through injury, you receive absolutely no support whatsoever – no matter how much your costs skyrocket.
We spoke to a GetUp member in NSW whose daughter has cerebral palsy. She’s a mother of three, and her family have acquired more than $300,000 in debts to pay for wheelchairs, regular speech therapy and other essentials her child needs to live a full life. Her story is typical of many struggling to cope across the nation, demonstrating the human and financial cost of a system that leaves people to fend for themselves.
We can do so much better than this. It’s time to look out for each other, and make sure no one goes bankrupt because their child was born with a disability. Write to your MP today, and change the conversation tomorrow:
Thanks for making your voice heard,
The GetUp Team
PS – Many inspiring people have been working on this for years. Learn more about the need for an NDIS and sign up as a supporter at: http://everyaustraliancounts.com.au/
1 "Crying poor: Queensland can afford the NDIS" ABC online, 30 July, 2012.