Mela Pachi, right, has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and her elderly parents are her carers. Photo: Graham Tidy
THE Territory government is frustrated the Commonwealth has not signed off on plans for the National Disability Insurance Scheme that would stagger the processing of up to 5000 applications from the ACT to avoid inundating the service on day one.
ACT Minister for Disability Joy Burch said more than a year had been spent by the Territory assessing each person based on age and stage of life for the scheme, but the timetable produced had become "stuck in a tray'' at the Prime Minister's office.
The scheme is expected to greatly assist people like Mela Pachi, of Lyneham, who has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.
Her parents, aged in their 80s, care for her and also assist her sister Angela who lives separately with her husband and suffers from the same degenerative disease.
Ms Burch will launch a fundraising event for the women on Sunday afternoon, which will be followed by another event in October, which will hopefully pay for home alterations to allow them to live independently.
"The NDIS is a major reform which will transform the lives of Canberrans with a disability, like Mela and her sister, and help take the burden off their families and carers,'' Ms Burch said.
"And it is wonderful to see the community get involved to help the Pachi family with this fundraiser.
“But I remain frustrated that, a month before the NDIS roll-out begins in the ACT, the Commonwealth still has not signed off on our plan for how we will transition 5000 people through the NDIS over two years.
“Obviously we cannot have 5000 people knocking on the door of the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1 July expecting to receive their assessments all at once.
“My priority is to give our community the information they need. I will have no choice but to release these details soon so that Canberrans with a disability and their families and carers have some certainty about when they will move into the NDIS.”
The Prime Minister's office said Senator Mitch Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, had portfolio responsibility for the NDIS.
Mr Fifield said the agreement between the ACT and Federal governments included some additional Commonwealth funds to assist with the transition to the full scheme.
"The Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory signed a bilateral agreement for the rollout of the NDIS in the ACT in December 2012,'' he said.
"Final details about the phasing in of participants within the framework laid out in the bilateral agreement are currently under negotiation and will be finalised and made public imminently.''