Today Victoria is proposing a model that improves on the Commonwealth's NDIS trial proposal.
This afternoon I have written to the Prime Minister to offer $42 million to bring a trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to the City of Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliff, the Surf Coast Shire and the Colac- Otway Shire.
The offer has two components. Victoria is willing to increase, for the purpose of a Barwon region trial, its current average spending of $19,300 per person per year in the Barwon region to meet the Commonwealth's benchmark of $20,779 per client per year for the 4135 people who are Victoria's existing clients in the Barwon trial site region – an amount of around $17 million in total over three years for a trial commencing in July 2013.
In addition, Victoria is willing to offer the Commonwealth a once-off facilitation payment of $25 million over the period of the launch, towards the operations and service delivery of a Geelong-based National Disability Transition Agency.
Geelong is home to Victoria's Transport Accident Commission, an acknowledged leader in social insurance schemes that was cited by the Productivity Commission as a model for such schemes. The Commonwealth's 2012-13 budget commitment towards funding an NDIS launch in several sites around Australia included an amount of $53 million for the establishment of such an agency.
The Victorian offer would allow the Commonwealth to direct an additional amount of $25 million towards the cost of funding new clients in Barwon, funding that the Commonwealth will no longer need to allocate to the agency.
This proposal would ensure that around 5000 Victorians living with a disability, their family and their carers would receive better care and support, and trial an NDIS along the lines of the model proposed by the Productivity Commission.
The offer not only matches, but exceeds, Prime Minister Gillard's call for Victoria to provide $40 million over the period of the forward estimates to bring an NDIS trial to the Barwon region.
This proposal would also ensure that the trial commences in Geelong in July 2013, which is an improvement on the 2014 start date proposed by the Commonwealth.
The $42 million being offered is in addition to the $240 million already committed by the Victorian Government to disability services in the Barwon region.
The Victorian Coalition Government is currently spending well over one billion dollars per year on care and support for people with a disability, their carers and their families, the suggestion by the Commonwealth that we lack commitment in this area is false and offensive.