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|Rally calls for NDIS legislation|
People with disability, their carers and supporters took to the streets of Lismore on May 10 to celebrate the federal government's announcement that $1 billion will be allocated over the next four years towards the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
According to Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) project officer and NDIS rally organiser, Linda Mills, a proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme to replace all current state and territory disability systems is much needed and long overdue.
"While we are celebrating this historic announcement, we still need to ensure current and future governments are committed to the scheme," Ms Mills said. "We need have bipartisan support for it from all political parties and governments across Australia. Recent media reports have shown the coalition is still split when it comes to supporting the NDIS and the scheme's implementation is not certain until it is passed into legislation".
Before the scheme is rolled out across Australia, a number of trial pilot programs will need to take place and Ms Mills said she would like to see a pilot take place in the Northern Rivers region.
Ballina mayor, Phil Silver, who has been in a wheelchair for many years addressed the gathered crowd with an emotive speech, saying that he welcomed the historic announcement.
"We need a revolution when it comes to looking after people with a disability," Mr Silver said. "I want to see the day when ageing parents are not panic stricken wondering what will happen to their disabled children after they die and can't care for them."
NRSDC CEO Tony Davies also addressed the rally saying that the NDIS will mean that instead of people having to fit into boxes, the boxes will be changed to fit them.
Bandwagon, a musical group consisting of Red Inc. clients and staff treated rally-goers to musical entertainment at Spinks Park after the rally.