State Member for Morwell Russell Northe has backed calls by the Gippsland Carers Association for the National Disability Insurance Scheme to be rolled out on a needs basis, rather than region by region.
The association this week slammed the plan to roll out the NDIS geographically, leaving Gippslanders to wait until 2019 to access the scheme.
Mr Northe said people with a disability on waiting lists across Victoria should have received services first, in line with Victorian Coalition election policy.
“Pre-election we committed to rolling out the NDIS to all who were on the waiting list for services, regardless of where they lived, rather than a geographic roll out,” Mr Northe said.
“We believe this would have been the fairest way, providing the first supports to those most in need who are eligible, but are at present receiving nothing.”
In Gippsland, the NDIS will first become available for residents of Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Latrobe and South Gippsland from 1 October 2017, while for those living in East Gippsland and Wellington shires the wait will be prolonged until 1 January 2019.
People on the Victorian Disability Support Register, Early Childhood Intervention Services waitlist and Mental Health Community Support Needs Register will be the first to access the scheme when it is rolled out in their areas.
In regions where the NDIS will be introduced in the third year of the scheme, such as Wellington and East Gippsland, children on the ECIS waitlist and people on the DSR who are assessed as needing urgent support will be brought forward by a year.
Opposition spokesperson for disability and mental health Tim Bull said those on the waiting list, regardless of where they live “should have received support first”.