CHOICE GIVEN

New PCYC CEO John Gillespie.
New PCYC CEO John Gillespie.

I WRITE with reference to the letter from F J Randall of Halls Head (NDIS exclusion is outrageous, Guardian Express, June 4) about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or DisabilityCare.

The NDIS will fundamentally transform the way we support people with disability, their families and their carers by giving them choice and control over the care and support they receive.

The development of the NDIS has involved extensive consultations not only with people with disability but also their families and carers. One message we have heard loud and clear is that people deserve support regardless of their age. We agree.

But to avoid duplication between aged-care and disability systems we have accepted the Productivity Commission’s recomm- endation that there be an age-65 threshold for entry to the NDIS with a couple of modifications.

Firstly, that people who enter the NDIS before the age of 65, have a choice to stay in the scheme once they turn 65, or enter the aged-care system.

Secondly, that people with degenerative conditions, who would benefit from early intervention supports, can enter the NDIS before age 65 and remain in the scheme after turning 65.

This approach means the NDIS will complement the aged-care system, which has also received additional funding.

From this July the NDIS or DisabilityCare, as it is now known, will start becoming a reality for thousands with a significant and permanent disability living in launch sites across Australia. Now all we need is for the WA State Government to sign up to DisabilityCare.

MARK BISHOP,

Labor Senator for Western

Australia