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Media Releases

Australian Cross Disability Alliance calls for investment in Australians with disability for future prosperity

Alliance New

The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is calling on the Government to end speculation about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and to give certainty to all Australians with disability.
The NDIS is an essential part of our social infrastructure that will ensure that all Australians with disability finally have the support they need. This long overdue investment in people with disability and their families will enable more people to move into work, and also create jobs in the disability support sector. Reporting on just the costs of the NDIS misses the increase to GDP from the NDIS and the other economic benefits of having more Australians able to participate in the community.  
Delivery of the NDIS on time and in full was a key commitment by the Coalition to Australians going into the 2013 federal election and one that, so far, they have delivered under two Prime Ministers.  
"Over the last five years, the NDIS has gained the overwhelming support of State and Territory Governments, both sides of Federal politics and the Australian community in a way that few reforms have before. Australians have simply decided this is the right thing to do. It’s time to take the NDIS out of the annual pre-Budget and policy fights to provide peace of mind for people with disability, their families and carers. These are issues affecting millions of Australians. Time and again, we have seen that most people see the sense in having social insurance for disability in the same way as we carry insurance for other major financial and life events," said Craig Wallace, from the Australian Cross Disability Alliance.
"So far, the Government has delivered on their 2013 election mandate to deliver the NDIS in full. Any change to this commitment would be a major breach of trust with the Australian people. There would be a strong reaction from across the political divide, especially as we enter an election year."
"The existing disability support system is broken, failing and becoming increasingly expensive - the NDIS is a carefully designed response to this crisis that will cost less over time, while giving people access to the support they need."
“We have always welcomed a discussion about funding the scheme so it is sustainable and we believe in a rational and sensible approach to that conversation is in the context of the tax white paper and broader discussions about the revenue, tax and spending mix of our nation. A range of options should be on the table to ensure we deliver the NDIS."
Targeting people with disability, and the supports they need to get out of bed, have a shower and leave the house is no answer. Commentary on the NDIS rollout should also balance implementation with the downstream benefits as more people with disability return to work; carers are freed up to pursue employment and people are kept out of expensive high care options,” said Mr Wallace.


Craig Wallace, President
People with Disability Australia
0413 135 731

 El Gibbs, Communication and Media Officer
People with Disability Australia
0408 682 867

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(02) 9370 3100



The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability):

People with Disability Australia (PWDA)

First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)

National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)


MEDIA Release January 7, 2016

Yesterday, ABC News published a story detailing the plight of the Fonseka Family from Sri Lanka, and how a young girl is being denied permanent residency status because she lives with disability.

The story by ABC News can be found here:

In March last year, NEDA and Down Syndrome Australia became aware of the Fonseka family’s situation and called for action, requesting Government to reconsider its original decision. Currently, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection are still reviewing the case.

NEDA wishes to highlight that the Fonseka Family’s situation is not isolated. Australia’s discriminatory immigration policy which effectively ‘screens out’ people with disability from settling in Australia routinely negatively affects numerous migrants and refugee families and communities. This is a key advocacy issue for NEDA throughout 2015 and 2016.

‘It is extraordinary that a nation that has committed to the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disability (UNCRPD) continues to have a Migration Act that is exempt from the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act’, said NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan.

“The Fonseka case is one of many such cases that we have dealt with in recent times. We continue to emphasise that this is a blot on the record of Australia as a humanitarian nation and we urge the government authorities to act to remedy this immediately” Mr Rajan added.

NEDA urges the Government and Minister Dutton to overturn the decision and to bring about a just outcome for the Fonseka Family.

For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on: 0413436001.



MYEFO 2015-16 measures will hurt migrant partners and children of Australian citizens and permanent residents

The government is proposing to save $225 million over four years by removing exemptions from the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period for new migrants who are family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents from 1 January 2017.

The effect of this is to reduce support for new Australian families.  This is short sighted policy that affects vulnerable families facing the challenges of adapting to life in a new country, just when they need more support not less.  Supporting new migrants to Australia benefits the whole community.

Under the current law, new migrants to Australia generally have to wait two years after the grant of their permanent visa[i] before they can access most income support payments.  However, there are some exemptions from this two-year Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period (NARWP), which include an exemption for a person who is a family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (of at least two years).  This exemption is mainly for partners or children of an Australian citizen or permanent resident.  Other people may be treated as family members, but in practice this is rare.

In our experience, this measure will mainly affect partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents.  Its effect will be to reduce support to these families at a critical time, increasing financial stress and hardship.

We call on the government not to proceed with this proposal.

For Comment

NWRN President Kate Beaumont: 0448 007 428

NEDA Offie (02) 6262 6867

FECCA Office (02) 6282 5755

[i] The NARWP commences from either the date of arrival in Australia, or the date of grant of permanent residents visa, whichever is later.