Union calls on Barnett Government to sign up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Wednesday 06 Mar 2013

The Union representing disability workers in Western Australia has called on the Premier Colin Barnett to fully commit to signing up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The scheme was designed to ensure people with disabilities had their needs assessed in order to provide funding and support services.

HSUWA Secretary Dan Hill said Mr Barnett had refused to follow other states and sign up for a trial of the scheme.

"The Labor leader Mark McGowan has committed to trialing the scheme in WA if his party wins the election on Saturday," said Mr Hill.

"Colin Barnett needs to follow Labor's lead and do the same if he wants to ensure the best quality of care for people with disabilities in this state."

The national branch of the Union this week made its submission to the Senate inquiry into the draft NDIS bill.

The Union fully supported the introduction of NDIS, however it believed the bill also had some serious shortfalls in relation to the quality control of staff who cared for the disabled.

"The draft bill as it stands has not given adequate attention to how minimum standards of employment and qualifications for disability workers will be overseen," said Mr Hill.

The Union said the bill needed to ensure basic standards such as training, levels of experience and police checks among workers.

The Union argued that in order to attract and retain highly skilled disability workers, they needed to have job security, ongoing training and supervision to ensure standards were met.

Mr Hill said once the bill was passed, people with disabilities living in WA had every right to demand the State Government sign up to the trial.

"It is time for the State and Federal Governments to resolve their differences and ensure that West Australians with disabilities receive the benefits of the NDIS without any further delay," he said.

HSUWA represents professional, administrative, clerical, technical and supervisory staff within the disability sector in WA, including Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Dietitians, Podiatrists, mental health and rehabilitation workers. Nationally the union covers all disability workers including carers.



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