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Addressing Media Queries on the NDIS Review and Bill Shorten’s Responses – Part 1

**Addressing Media Queries on Disability Services: Bill Shorten’s Insightful Responses (Part 1)**

In a recent address, Bill Shorten, an advocate for improving disability services, offered substantial insights into the proposed changes and challenges surrounding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Following his speech, the floor opened up to media representatives who raised pertinent questions. Here, we’ll delve into the responses provided by Shorten to the initial set of inquiries:

**Speaker 3: Regional Disparities in Disability Services**

The concern raised by Speaker 3 about regional disparities in accessing disability services in black spots was met with a detailed response by Shorten. He emphasized the inherent differences in seeking disability services between metropolitan areas like Melbourne and Sydney versus remote locations like Mannan, Rita, or Long Reach in Tasmania. Shorten highlighted the issue of ‘thin markets’ in areas facing worker shortages, which hinder the effective utilization of allocated packages.

He shed light on ongoing trials and collaborations with various state governments to explore alternative commissioning models aimed at enhancing service delivery. Shorten emphasized the need to tailor services to individual needs rather than adopting a blanket approach, proposing funneling parts of the individual packages through accredited service providers in areas with limited access, thereby creating meaningful employment opportunities within communities.

**Speaker 13: Ensuring Timely Support Delivery**

The question posed by Speaker 13 centered on ensuring timely support delivery to NDIS participants, particularly in scenarios where lengthy waiting lists exist within schools or hospitals. Shorten acknowledged the challenge, expressing optimism about increased state engagement following recent national cabinet discussions. He stressed the need for collaboration and review processes to ensure effectiveness, admitting the plan’s imperfections but reiterating its necessity in comparison to doing nothing.

He emphasized a collaborative approach with states and the community, avoiding rigid penalties for states falling behind but rather opting for engagement and support to uplift their efforts. Shorten reiterated the importance of keeping states accountable through collaboration, reviews, and media oversight.

**Speaker 14: Transitioning from Individual to Foundational Support**

In response to Speaker 14’s query regarding the transition of families from individual support packages to the proposed foundational system, Shorten emphasized the scheme’s intent to cater to individuals’ specific needs. He highlighted the scheme’s evolution and the necessity to run it more efficiently by developing additional support systems outside the NDIS.

He clarified that eligibility for the scheme primarily depends on the significant and permanent impact of a disability on an individual’s functioning, emphasizing a focus on addressing individual needs rather than a fixed number of participants in the scheme. Shorten emphasized the scheme’s evolving nature and the importance of avoiding generalizations, focusing on the unique needs of individuals to ensure improved outcomes for every family.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll delve deeper into more questions posed to Bill Shorten and his insightful responses regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme and its proposed reforms.

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