WA is the only state in Australia that has not signed up for the $14.3 billion national disability insurance scheme, to be rolled out over seven years to 2018-19.
Premier Colin Barnett said in May that the scheme had ‘problems’ that needed to be resolved and the State Government would not sign on before the September election.
He indicated that he preferred a decentralised system.
Hot on the heels of opening four new DisabilityCare centres in other states, Ms Macklin addressed about 40 people with disabilities, their carers and family members at a forum held at Guildford town hall.
She said about 3100 residents in the Hasluck electorate could benefit from the scheme and that the WA Government was ‘irresponsible’ for not jumping on board.
‘If the State Government signed up to this scheme, the number of people who would have access to funds would double,’ she said.
She said contrary to what some people may believe about the scheme, it would not be run solely out of Canberra, and recipients would be able to handle their own finances.
‘This scheme will not be run by a beaurocracy in Canberra. There are already smaller outlets open in Tasmania, Adelaide, Newcastle and Geelong and there would be one open in WA,’ she said.
‘And those people receiving benefits will have control over their finances.’
When one attendee raised concerns about regular audits proposed for disabled recipients of the scheme, Ms Macklin said they would be in place to ensure that those with disabilities were getting the help they needed.
The event was hosted by Labor member for Hasluck Adrian Evans.
For more information and to receive updates on DisabilityCare Australia visit www.disability careaustralia.gov.au