Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2011) . . Page.. 3824 ..
Mr Hanson: Is that a threat?
MR HARGREAVES: I do not make threats, Mr Hanson, through you, Mr Speaker. I make promises and I usually fulfil them.
I sincerely welcome the news that COAG agreed last Friday to establish a select council to consider the recommendations of the commission’s report on the establishment of a national disability insurance scheme, with the aim of providing an initial report to COAG at its first meeting in 2012. COAG agreed to move quickly to assist the development of the national disability insurance scheme, including development of a national assessment framework, nationally consistent service and quality standards for the disability services sector and a comprehensive national disability services workforce strategy.
I also welcome COAG’s agreement to work together to consider the Productivity Commission’s recommendation regarding the establishment of a national injury insurance scheme. The proposals in the commission’s report would replace existing disability services systems across states and territories, enhance the range of support options available to people with a disability, and give people with a disability more choice and greater control over the services that they receive. All these proposals represent a very significant change in the provision of disability services across Australia, and these recommendations represent the most significant indicators of reform for our fellow Australians with disabilities and for those who care for them.
The main recommendation is to establish a system that ensures adequate funding for people with significant support needs. This is about ensuring that people with disability, their families and their carers have more say and peace of mind about the services they need, for as long as they need them. To progress this important initiative, the commonwealth has announced that an advisory group of experts will be established, led by Dr Jeff Harmer, to support the select council of treasurers and disability services ministers, and an investment of $10 million will fund technical policy work which will be the foundation of the scheme. It is intended that the national disability insurance scheme will cover every Australian who has suffered a significant disability.
I understand that foundation work is already underway and it is anticipated that the scheme will gradually be rolled out from mid-2014, with the potential for full implementation by 2018-19. The scheme is expected to fund support for around 410,000 Australians who have a significant disability, including those with enduring psychiatric disabilities. The cost of the national disability insurance scheme is expected to be approximately $13.5 billion nationally, which will represent, significantly, a doubling of funding for the disability sector.
The national injury insurance scheme would cover people who have experienced catastrophic injury. I understand that the plan is to initially begin the scheme in 2013, with cover for those in our community injured in motor vehicle accidents. The plan then is to extend cover to those suffering injury from medical accidents, criminal injury and general accidents by 2015. This comprehensive, no-fault scheme would