OUR SAY: Delaying scheme an insult to people with a disability

THE opening of Wangarang Industries’ new Forest Road facility proved the perfect opportunity for the Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka to sing the praises of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the lead-up to the upcoming federal budget on May 13.

According to Mr Ajaka, once up-and-running, the scheme will see additional funding allocated to Wangarang Industries, and many organisations like it, enabling it to employ more staff to meet demand, rather than having its workforce capped at 125.

Surely an organisation such as Wangarang Industries, which has a track record that’s 50 years long, should be encouraged to expand its workforce rather than inhibit it.

As Mr Ajaka told guests at the opening on Friday, “people with a disability have a right to live their lives just like everybody else has a right to lives their lives,” and that includes the right to be employed if they want to.

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He asked the federal government and member for Calare John Cobb to ensure the NDIS was included in the budget, ready for its 2018/2019 roll-out.

If the member for Orange Andrew Gee’s figures are correct the NDIS could mean another 50,000 people in NSW could receive additional or new funding.

Mr Gee and Mr Ajaka’s comments come after the release of the Commission of Audit report on Thursday that suggested the roll-out of the NDIS should be delayed because of cost blowouts at trial sites. 

However, a scheme that provides extra funding and additional employment opportunities for people with disabilities should be supported.

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