This story first appeared in the Information Point newsletter Our World in 2012.
Earlier this year Michelle Gibb and her son George who has centronuclear myopathy met Tony Abbott the leader of the Australian Liberal Party (currently the opposition party) to discuss the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a scheme which aims to revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in Australia.
Currently, these people face many obstacles when they try to access care and support and have little or no certainty that they will get the support they need over the course of their lives.
The NDIS aims to ensure that people with disability will have a clear pathway to access the care and support they need, when they need it, regardless of where they live or how they acquire their disability, with a modern, person-centred support system, helping hundreds of thousands of Australians with disability and their families.
The NDIS was devised and recommended by the Productivity Commission in July 2011 and The Australian Government is currently working with the states and territories on the key design issues for the launch of the scheme which would replace all the current state and territory disability systems, however the scheme is not guaranteed, by any political party.
Michelle explains ‘Right now, we are heading to an election mid next year and the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has said that she will back the NDIS, however the opposition have said that they will only back the NDIS if we have a surplus budget, (which with another global financial crisis likely, it’s not likely) to meet the $6 billion a year cost, so we met with Tony Abbott to really send home the message of what the NDIS would mean to us and families like us. He listened to what we had to say and was very engaged with George. It’s always very exciting to be involved in these things, especially ones that are set to revolutionise the way our society views and respects all people’.