Disability support for rural and remote Australians

30 April 2012

Even though they can’t be there in person, the people of rural and remote areas will want to support today’s capital city rallies in the Every Australian Counts campaign to introduce a comprehensive National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). And they hope that their interests will be recognised by the good people leading the work.

Disability can visit any family at any time and can impose high costs. Currently, when it does visit those in rural and remote areas the services required are often not available. Both immediate and long-term care and support for people with a disability ought to be available on the basis of need – not on the basis of where they live, how long they have been on a waiting list, or how or where they acquired their disability.

At its meeting in April the Council of Australian Governments recognised this and made a commitment to progressing the Productivity Commission’s proposals for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Over 30 per cent of Australia’s people live outside the major cities, and there will need to be special consideration given to the ways in which the NDIS can achieve uniformity of access between urban and rural Australia.

The Alliance has a position paper on how fairer access to rehabilitation outcomes can be provided for people who have acquired brain injury and are living in rural and remote areas.

Rural and remote service models need to be responsive to the obvious challenging factors such as distance and access, but also the methods of undertaking assessments and determining eligibility for services for all those needing care.

The Productivity Commission also proposed a National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), and this too would benefit people in rural/remote areas. It would see long-term care and support provided for anyone who has a catastrophic injury through a no-fault insurance scheme.

The Alliance is a strong supporter of these developments and will continue to seek input from its 33 member organisations, as well as rural and remote communities, on ways in which it can best contribute to the development of the NDIS and the NIIS, and seek to ensure good access and a fair go for people in rural areas.

Media Enquiries: 

Lesley Barclay - Chair: 0412 282 801
Gordon Gregory - Executive Director: 02 6285 4660