Tuesday June 27, 2017
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Disability Refugees Created In Queensland, The Ableist State

Premier Campbell Newman took the NDIS and crushed it beneath the heel of his jackboot, treating it like a noisy, annoying toy.

Queensland is no longer the 'Smart State'. Premier Campbell Newman cancelled the rights payment to the famous trademark this week.  


Queensland is now the Ableist State.


He dashed the hopes of 82,000 Queenslanders with a disability and their families.  He showed belligerence in refusing to negotiate on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) at the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) in Canberra on Wednesday.


All of the states and territories were willing to discuss the scheme to some degree with the Federal Government. South Australia, ACT and Tasmania immediately pledged funds for the scheme. NSW and Victoria continue with negotiations but things are looking positive.


However, for campaigners in Queensland, the NDIS war is now over.  To the victor go the spoils. Premier Campbell Newman took the NDIS and crushed it beneath the heel of his jackboot, treating it like a noisy, annoying toy. He then took the broken pieces, placed them in an heart shaped box and pushed them out of reach to the back of the closet.


You're thinking, no.  Premier Newman is working it out behind the scenes. He has another plan. He'll work it out for us. He's Can Do.


He won't.


He hates the Labor Party.  He would see Labor removed from every office in the country, local, state & territory and of course, federally.  He has given into this hate, it has clouded all care and concern for those living with a disability in his state.


He made the NDIS into the much clichéd political football and even adding a little ball tampering of his own. He was unable to put the left and right of politics to one side; to sit down as a duly elected representative of his people and discuss the scheme in a mature fashion.
 
He came to power in both his mayoral and premiership campaigns using a slogan of Can Do. At a basic level, it infers that he will make things better for those who elect him. However, he spent all this week telling us what he Can't Do.


Pre-election, he wrote on one of his platforms, Better Support For Queenslanders With Disabilities And Their Families:


"We will ensure Queenslanders with a disability get a fair go from the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)."


Post election, on April 30, 2012 at the Every Australian Counts Campaign in Brisbane, Disability Minister Tracy Davis addressed the crowd, pledging support for the NDIS but added a caveat:


"Only if it is federally funded".  Shrilly, she raised her voice above the protests of the crowd and spoke inaccurately about the Productivity Commission report.  Sitting there listening to her with my son Jaden, it was the moment the music died for us.


Fast forward to Monday, to everyone's surprise, Newman announced Gympie as the trial site for the NDIS but again that it must be fully paid for by the Federal Government. Without any further information on the criteria for this decision, he stated that Queensland Disability Minister Tracy Davis had sent a letter to Federal Families Minister, Jenny Macklin a month ago and had not heard anything back.


Collectively they had sat back, folded their arms and were smug.


However, the letter did not meet any of the criteria in bidding for a trial site for the NDIS. It made no mention of Gympie.  It was a one and a half page scrap of paper, an appalling document in comparison with the 100+ page submissions made by the fellow Liberal State Governments of NSW and Victoria. Queensland's poor excuse for a submission was not even considered.
 
Onsite at COAG, at media conferences on the Tuesday and Wednesday, Newman announced Queensland could not afford to put any money toward the NDIS. He told the world Queensland was on course to become the 'Spain' of the states if he did not take action.


He turned Queenslanders with a disability into a cost. He did not see our children, brothers, sisters and parents living with disabilities for the gentle souls they are. They do not understand any of this politics. However, they do understand love and compassion.


Newman went on to blame former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh for Queensland not having the NDIS, for committing the foulest of crimes; spending money.  He made no mention of the terrible years of Queensland natural disasters, cyclones Larry and Yasi and the Brisbane and Toowoomba floods which lead to billions of dollars damage across the state.


Seemingly, it was all Anna Bligh's fault that rain fell from the sky and the wind blew.
 
Newman did not mention the $3.5 million that he has spent in his first 100 days in employing LNP identities to Government positions while over 3000 public servants have been retrenched or not had their contracts renewed.

He did not mention the $140,000 per fortnight he pays to Victorian Liberal Party Member, Peter Costello for two days worth of work to tell us how bad the state finances are.

 

He talked about Queensland families, about how they should not have to give anything to the NDIS, that it should be fully federally funded. The vision of family he had in his mind was an ableist vision; Mum, Dad, two kids and the dog; all able bodied.


However, if you talk to most Queensland families, they will know someone in their greater family or evan a neighbour with a disability.  Disability effects everyone and despite what we have seen this week, Queenslanders are still a deeply caring people at heart.


Newman reiterated his support for the NDIS, telling us we could have it in the 2014-15 the budget.  Effectively, he made the NDIS a Queensland state election issue.


If you are good and vote for me, you'll get your NDIS back from the top of the closet and I will glue it back together.

He made out that the Productivity Commission report stated that the NDIS should be fully federally funded and that the Prime Minister Julia Gillard was not following it.  However, anyone that reads section 1.8 Financing The NDIS in it's entirety will know that this is not the case. His advisors had picked the pieces out of it that they could use as political weapons.

We can argue about the report and the wording of this and that.  However, the greater spirit of the document is for our leaders to come together and work on a solution for the broken and fractured disability system across the country.


No state can manage the disability bill.  It has become far too high.  Putting it off to 2014-15 only makes the entire situation in Queensland worse. Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett will also find this out. Instead of going NDIS he announced that he would be going his way with an aptly named, My Way, program.


Lastly, on Friday Newman made out that it was his idea to impose a levy on Australian taxpayers to pay for the NDIS and that the Prime Minister had rejected the idea.


It showed that he had not read the Productivity Commission's report at all.  The commission had looked at the concept of a levy and reported that it was not the recommended way to finance the NDIS.  Unless he had been secretly working with the commission whilst he was still Brisbane Mayor, there's no way the levy could have been his idea.
 
As the NDIS war has been lost in Queensland we will begin to see the displacement that war brings. With NSW and Victoria likely to join the NDIS trial and no significant increase in disability funding until 2014-15 for Queensland, it is clear that ex-Duntroon military man Newman is set to achieve his purge of our costly minority community.


For what is now left for the 82,000 Queenslanders with a disability to do other than to become disability refugees and migrate down the trail of tears into southern states.


As the events of the NDIS unfolded this week, a vision replayed itself in my mind. It was John Howard banging his fist on the lectern at the Reconciliation Convention in Melbourne in 1997. Noble indigenous elders famously turned their backs on him.


To my local LNP Ian Kaye, Queensland State member for Greenslopes I turn my back on you and look to the south. Pre-election you telephoned me to speak about the NDIS. Post-election, after 100+ days in office you have failed to represent us, your constituents. You have not returned our repeated requests for a meeting. If you wish to redeem yourself you should resign from the LNP and give up your seat to return to your former noble profession in the police force.

To my Disability Minister, Tracy Davis, I turn my back on you and look to the south. You failed to represent the people you were charged with in your portfolio with your inept NDIS trial submission.


To my Queensland Premier Newman, I turn my back on you and head south. I have nothing against you personally. However, you are the worst of the worst Premiers in any of the states of all time.  You failed to represent your people. By reducing Queenslanders with a disability to dollar signs, you have successfully created an ableist state.


Earlier this month you were involved in a traffic accident. Due to Queensland's archaic at fault insurance system if you had been seriously injured you would be totally dependent on the assistance of family and friends now. If your driver was at fault you would receive no compensation. If the other driver was at fault, you would now be engaging in court proceedings to prove your case for compensation against her so that you could gain some quality of life.


I have seen the other side of this system in Queensland and it is not something I would wish upon you. Not even my worst political enemy.


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