Gympie NDIS bid fails

WHILE Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Prime Minister Julia Gillard were squabbling over funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme yesterday, Gympie mum Jean Cooper was living her life in the old system.

Gympie missed out on becoming a pilot site for the scheme when Ms Gillard decided to endorse sites in Tasmania, ACT and South Australia after Mr Newman refused to offer more money for the scheme.

He cited Queensland's debt as the reason.

Mrs Cooper and her husband Wally care for their 36-year-old disabled daughter Joanne and say the current system doesn't meet the individual needs of the disabled.

The 67-year-old was hoping Mr Newman would come good with extra funds so that Gympie would become a pilot site.

Mrs Cooper said she was worried about the future of her daughter who suffers from autism, epilepsy and intellectual impairment after an adverse reaction to the triple antigen vaccine at eight months old.

Joanne needs 24-hour care.

"At the moment my husband and I are healthy," Mrs Cooper said.

"But in another 10 years I don't know how healthy we will be or whether we'll still be around."

Mrs Cooper said the current funding arrangements for disability services were confusing and hard to access because help came from many different sources.

The NDIS plans to put the funding (estimated between $30,000 and $40,000 a year) in the hands of the disabled and carers so they can decide the best way to spend the funds.

"If we get the NDIS we will be able to say where Jo goes in the community and who we employ to look after her," Mrs Cooper said.

"I know it will cost billions but it would be great if it could happen. If they put all the other buckets of money together they would have half to three quarters of the money."

Gympie Times


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