MUA Welcomes Announcement of Disability Insurance Scheme

The Maritime Union of Australia has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement regarding funding of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), hailing it as a landmark achievement for all Australians.

National MUA Secretary and Member of the Government's Disabilities and Carer Council Paddy Crumlin hailed the announcement as a reform that will benefit people with a disability, carers, families and workers.

"The funding of an NDIS will give consumers choice, flexibility and security," said Mr Crumlin.

"This has been a reform that people with a disability, their families and carers have been calling for for over 20 years."

The Maritime Union of Australia has a particular interest in the reforms as the rate of injury with the maritime industries is high.

"We see severe injuries in our members all too often" said Mr Crumlin.

"Having this scheme in place means that our members and their families will be assured of care throughout their lives, even if they are unable to return to work.

"Too often, workers who are injured on the job don't receive the ongoing care and support they need. This scheme will help to change that."

"The NDIS is a social reform akin to the introduction of Medicare, and it will change the lives and outcomes for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

Today's commitment by the Gillard Government to next year begin implementing a national, no-fault disability insurance scheme will enhance the lives of all Australians.

"There are hundreds of thousands of Australians who were either born with, or acquired, a physical or intellectual disability. These include the victims of workplace accidents," said Mr Crumlin.

"They suffer from a chronic lack of services, and often have lives of social exclusion, poverty and hardship.

"In many cases, disability support is a lucky dip. If you are 'fortunate' enough to have a car accident in NSW or Victoria, for example, you get a better level of care. But if you have an accident in other states you live with almost no support.

"We congratulate the Prime Minister on stepping up to the challenge of looking after all Australians."