Transcript - Doorstop interview with Natasha Griggs MP - 13 August 2013 > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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13-August-2013

Transcript - Doorstop interview with Natasha Griggs MP - 13 August 2013

Doorstop interview

Senator Mitch Fifield, Natasha Griggs MP & Greg McMahon, Carpentaria Disability Services

Carpentaria Community Services
Darwin, NT

13 August 2013

2:00pm

E & OE

Subjects:  NDIS, GST

MITCH FIFIELD:

It’s great to be with Natasha Griggs at Carpentaria Community Services who do such good work supporting Territorians with a disability. I’m with Natasha meeting a range of disability groups hearing from them about design features that they think are important to be part of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS is something which has strong bipartisan support and which a Coalition Government is determined to implement in full.

 

JOURNALIST:

The Territory has one of the trial sites for the Barkly area. Would the Coalition be looking at expanding that to the Top End at all?

 

MITCH FIFIELD:

 

Well it’s good news that there will be an NDIS launch site in the Barkly Area. It’s really important to test the NDIS model in remote and regional areas. While I’ve been here, it has been put to me that it might be good to have another launch site based in Darwin. Obviously that would be something that would be the subject of negotiation between the next Government and the Northern Territory Government. But there are a number of launch sites around Australia, but I’ve got a very open mind to any propositions from the Northern Territory Government.

JOURNALIST:

I know you said there is bipartisan support for the NDIS; do you have any concerns about the model as it stands?

 

MITCH FIFIELD:


Well, part of the purpose of the launch sites is to learn lessons, where there are design changes that are needed, to make those before the full national rollout. I guess the main concern I’ve had to date, with the NDIS is the lack of information that the current Federal Government have provided to people with disabilities. The launch sites went live in four sites on the 1st of July, yet there aren’t fact sheets out there for people with disability. There should be a thousand fact sheets available covering every aspect of the scheme. There should be dozens of cameos and worked examples for people with sensory impairment, physical impairment and intellectual impairment so that the NDIS scheme participants and their families and the broader community can have a good sense of who will be eligible and who won’t be. I think rather than the current Government spending $22 million dollars on glossy TV ads, they would have been much better advised to provide unadorned, detailed, factual information for all Australians.

 

NATASHA GRIGGS:

I think it’s great that we’ve been given the opportunity by Greg to visit Carpentaria community services. We had a roundtable earlier today with a group of key stakeholders and that was really informative and the issues of having two trial sites in the Territory was raised with the Shadow Minister and I think it was explained about the differences in the Top End of the Territory and the bottom end of the Territory and how the issues are very different and particularly the issues around dealing with remote service delivery and so those issues were discussed today. So we’re delighted Greg’s been able to have us here and we’ve got a number of other sites that we’re visiting. I’ve been a passionate supporter of people with disabilities for over 20 years so it’s really great to be able to come across and have some time to see some people that I’ve known for a long time and are very dear to me so thank you very much.

 

JOURNALIST:

In terms of the Coalitions policy on DisabilityCare, is the NDIS a focus, is there any additional incentives that the Coalition will implement?

 

NATASHA GRIGGS:

Part of having a roundtable was actually to give first-hand accounts to the Shadow Minister, not just hearing it from peak bodies. One of the messages that I keep insisting on is that it’s really important that people in Canberra, the bureaucrats in Canberra have a really good understanding of what happens here in the Territory. Because every Territorian knows that they don’t want to be told how things work from Canberra. So the Shadow Minister got to hear first hand from key stakeholders of some of the issues that are going to be raised when we have full implementation of the NDIS.

 

JOURNALIST:

On another issue if that’s alright, yesterday Julie Bishop on a Perth radio that talking about GST distribution and she mentioned that the major states would be welcome to submit proposals to her and the Coalition would look at that. Is that worrying should Territorians be concerned?

NATASHA GRIGGS:

No, not at all. That was a snippet of a discussion that Julie had. It has been said over and over again that under a Coalition Government there will be no changes to GST. It was reaffirmed last night on Q and A with Christopher Pyne. This morning there has been more come out and I think that Mitch as the Shadow Minister will also reaffirm that there is no position of the Coalition to change GST.  

MITCH FIFIELD:

That’s right. No plans to change the GST. Full stop.

 

JOURNALIST:

That includes the revenue and how its divied up between the states. Because there has obviously been a lot of discussion between a few of the larger Liberal states about changing it to favour them?

 

NATASHA GRIGGS:

The important thing to note is that before any change with the GST can happen, every single State Premier and Chief Minister will have to agree. That’s legislated. And I can assure you, and I can assure Territorians, that Adam Giles is not going to sign up to anything that is going to be detrimental to Territorians. That’s why he didn’t sign up to Gonski, because under Labor’s plan, Territorians were going to miss out on money. So there is no discussion this is just more of Labor’s scare mongering around GST. The same message is being put out in every single marginal seat in Australia that Labor wants to win. There is no change to GST under a Coalition Government. Full stop.

 

JOURNALIST:

If there is no plans to change the distribution why would Julie Bishop [inaudible].

 

MITCH FIFIELD:

 

I’m not sure that she did. What a number of colleagues have made is the simple point, that there can be no change to GST distribution arrangements unless every State and Territory agrees.

 

JOURNALIST:

I think what she said was that if the four major states came together and were wanting to submit a proposal with a fairer distribution method than you would look at that.

 

MITCH FIFIELD:

Well the point is, every State and Territory would have to agree to any new proposition and you’re not going to have States and Territories agree to something that is to their detriment.

 

GREG MCMAHON:

 

Carpentaria are really looking forward to the arrival of the NDIS, it will present challenges to the Top End and remote communities, in the urban and also in indigenous communities.

 

JOURNALIST:

 

How much more help would it be to have one of the sites in the Top End? I mean, how hard is it to access those kind of services from the Barkly region?

                                                                                                                                       

GREG MCMAHON:

 

It would be helpful to have it in the Top End, I really can’t speak in the Barkley context. But what we experience here in the Top End but a lot of people are reluctant to leave the country. So to establish something in the Top End would be a great benefit to those communities.

 

JOURNALIST:

 

What sort of things does. What sort of changes [inaudible].

 

GREG MCMAHON:

 

Obviously to invest in more services and flexible service deliveries. My concern would be around the Tier 1 Tier 2 people under the new scheme; those people now would struggle to get into services under the current model. And my question would be in the future would those people get into the new model?

                                                                                                                             

JOURNALIST:

Can you explain what Tier 1 and Tier 2 is?

 

GREG MCMAHON:

 

So under the NDIS there are 4 Tiers. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4. Tiers 3 and 4 will be funded, funded packages, Tiers 1 and 2 won’t be eligible at this point to my understanding.

                                                                                                                                                       

 

ENDS