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General Updates

- Draft Disability Care & Support Scheme Report
- National Disability Strategy Endorsed by COAG
- Better Start Initiative for Children with a Disability
- Pollies Must Join Forces on Disabled
- Parking, The Law and You Publication

Draft Disability Care and Support Scheme Report

The Commission's draft report was released Monday 28 February and you are invited to examine the report and make written submissions to the Productivity Commission by 30 April 2011.

From that time, it will be available on the Disability Care & Support Public Inquiry Website, along with some additional explanatory material.

Printed copies will be posted to all those who have made submissions or otherwise registered their interest with the Commission.

There will be another public hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday 5 April in Richmond.

See Registration Details on the website.

National Disability Strategy Endorsed by COAG

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the endorsement of a National Disability Strategy by the Council of Australian Governments.

Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes said, “In adopting this Strategy, Australia’s governments – Commonwealth, State and Territory, and local – have acknowledged that people with disability in Australia are too often denied their basic human rights and the chance to live their life to its full potential – they are too often discriminated against, shut out and isolated.”

Commissioner Innes said Australia’s governments had now committed to changing this.

“I applaud our leaders for making this commitment,” Commissioner Innes said. “It is a commitment made in international law through the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Perhaps even more importantly, it is a commitment by our governments to our people,” the Commissioner said. “I call on every area and level of government to work now to turn this commitment into reality.”

Commissioner Innes said people with disability and their families simply want the same rights and opportunities as other Australians.

Commissioner Innes said the Australian Human Rights Commission looks forward to working with governments and with disability organisations in the further development and implementation of the National Disability Strategy.

Further Information:
Website: National Disability Strategy (PDF)

Better Start Initiative for Children with Disability

From 1 July 2011, eligible children diagnosed with a sight or hearing impairment, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or Fragile X syndrome will have access to funding and Medicare rebates under the initiative.

The initiative includes the following components:
• children under the age of six can register for access to funding for early intervention services and treatments
• Medicare rebates for the development of a treatment and management plan for eligible children under the age of 13
• Medicare rebates for up to four allied health diagnostic services and for up to 20 relevant allied health treatment services for eligible children up to the age of 15 (provided a treatment and management plan is in place before the age of 13).

Further Information:
FaHCSIA Website

Pollies Must Join Forces on Disabled

Jill Singer, Herald Sun, 23 February, 2011

The political argy-bargy about a relatively small flood levy does not augur well for the millions of Australians holding out for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The promised NDIS will require additional public funding of at least $5 billion a year, which is roughly three times the amount to be raised by the contentious flood levy.

The Productivity Commission will soon report on its recommendations for how the NDIS will be set up and paid for. It is widely expected the commission will recommend partly funding the NDIS by increasing the Medicare levy from 1.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent.

Further Information:
Pollies Must Join Forces on Disabled Full Article

Parking, the Law and You Publication

Fully revised and updated for 2011, Parking, the law and you is a handy plain-language guide to parking laws in Victoria.

This booklet explains the most common parking rules and signs. It also tells you what to do if you get a fine and outlines the appeal process and the consequences of not paying a fine. It includes information relevant to people with disabilities such as disabled parking permits, eligibility to having a parking fine cancelled etc.

An order form and PDF version is available on the: Victoria Law Foundation Website

Further Information:
Victoria Law Foundation
Phone: 9604 8100
Email: contact@victorialawfoundation.org.au

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