Federal Government accused of holding National Disability Insurance Scheme hostage

The West Australian Newspaper

Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The Federal Government has been accused of holding the National Disability Insurance Scheme hostage over billions of dollars in welfare cuts that face being blocked by a hostile Senate.

In a move that angered disability advocates yesterday, the Government announced $3 billion in leftover savings from its welfare omnibus Bill would be quarantined for future contributions to the NDIS.

Treasurer Scott Morrison warned that should the Senate block the Bill, the NDIS could be underfunded.

“The balance of the savings achieved through that Bill will be provided and debited into the NDIS special account,” Mr Morrison said.

“The NDIS account will be poorer for it, if the Bill is not passed.”

The legislation, introduced into Parliament last week, already ties the Government’s long-stalled $1.6 billion childcare reforms to previously rejected welfare measures, many of which have languished in parliamentary limbo since the 2014 Budget.

In making the funding for the NDIS contingent on the cuts being passed, the Government has piled more pressure on the Senate crossbench to pass the Bill.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter last year set up an NDIS special account to help make up a $4 billion shortfall in funding predicted for 2020.

Mr Porter said the Government would much prefer the NDIS not be funded by debt or tax

Labor and the Greens remain opposed to the Bill and key cross bencher Nick Xenophon, who controls three votes in the Senate, has publicly opposed measures affecting young people that would make the newly unemployed wait a month for income support.

Shadow families minister Jenny Macklin, who insists the NDIS was fully funded under Labor, said the threat was a “disgraceful political game of brinkmanship”.

“The Turnbull Government is now holding the NDIS hostage over its $5.6 billion in cuts to families, new mums, pensioners, people with disability, carers and young jobseekers,” Ms Macklin said.

“People with disability do not deserve to be treated with such contempt.”

Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie rejected the linking of welfare cuts to the NDIS. “This is robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Dr Goldie said.

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Disability Awareness & Post School Options Expo’16

Expo_Video_1Only a month away from the 8th Disability Awareness & Post School Options Expo, which will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex, Theatre & Arena on 14th September 2016.    Over 60 Service providers, Guest Speakers and NDIS updates with Q&A.

Ideal opportunity also for those children leaving school to find out what opportunities are available to them.

Open from 10am with Official opening at 10.15 am by the Deputy Mayor Cr.Adrian Schrinner, followed at 10.30 am by the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP.  More information available on SpecialCare Central Inc website.

Event Schedule is available to download here. SCC-DisabilityAwarenessExpo.

All visitors FREE entry.   Plenty of Free parking and Bus to venue.

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Disability no barrier for MyGolf in Melton

My GolfStory Wirtten By Geoff Galloway – MyGolf School Ambassador/PE Teacher Melton Specialist School

After completing the Community Instructor course in late 2015, I was very keen to get the MyGolf program in schools up and running at my school – Melton Specialist School. Being a school at which students have a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities, safety was an issue. But it wasn’t going to be a deterrent to give my students an opportunity to try a sport many of them haven’t had the chance to enjoy.

Melton Specialist School

To get things started we ordered the equipment kits and I was extremely pleased with the contents when they arrived within a few days. The next step was to download the MyGolf Coaching Resource App on to my iPad.  This gave me everything I needed to run the program.

Because of building works in the school, I decided to start the program in my gallery, a small gym area about the size of two classrooms. To do this I used the equipment supplied in the kits but purchased some soft, large balls that would not damage the walls or students. It also helped some connect with the balls more quickly.

First up, we practised the swing and basically got the students developing the ability to hit the ball. I was very big on safety and made sure I had clear markings where students had to stand when hitting the ball and when watching activities.

After several weeks we moved outside to an oval behind the school. I then worked through the lesson plans outlined in the MyGolf app and over a six-week period, the students really developed their skills and enjoyed all activities, which was fantastic.

At the completion of the program, I approached Melton Golf Club and Keilor Golf Club and organised for the middle and later-year students to take part in four-week programs with the pros from the clubs. Over this period, the students practised driving, putting and were even filmed to view their swings.

Over a six-week period, I was impressed at how keen the students were and how their golfing ability improved. Bearing in mind that we had limited space, I was extremely pleased at how the students coped with the program.

The students really loved this experience and we were able to discover some hidden natural golf talent in some of our students. We even have one student taking additional lessons and actively trying to improve her golf expertise at the local club.

Later in the year, I plan to revisit golf with the students. I will also take a group to my local golf club and we plan to play a formal game.

I would encourage all schools to get a teacher to complete the Community Instructor online course, order the gear and get out there and start teaching golf.

I would also like to congratulate Golf Victoria and Golf Australia for providing such a wonderful program. The app for the iPad makes teaching golf very easy and the games hold the interest of all students –  including those with disabilities – so that is extremely valuable.


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