Newman 'cheesed off' with politicising of NDIS
THE Queensland Premier is "cheesed off", accusing the Federal Government of politicising the landmark National Disability Insurance Scheme, which his government agreed to sign up to this week.
Speaking a day after he announced he would increase Queensland's disability support funding by $868 million over the next six years, Mr Newman seemed less than pleased with the Federal Government's response.
The Commonwealth criticised Mr Newman for falling $200 million short of what he needed to commit to the NDIS.
In a letter to Mr Newman on Wednesday , Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated the Premier would need to commit $1.96 billion - not the $1.77 billion proposed - to meet NSW's commitment.
Mr Newman said he approached Ms Gillard last week at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra where he flagged - in principal - his NDIS plan.
"This should not be politicised - and yes, you can tell I am a bit cheesed off - but this should not be being politicised in the way it has been by the Federal Government," he said on Thursday.
"Imagine a Premier has come at a COAG meeting in a quiet moment to the Prime Minister of the nation saying 'I want a deal, I want to sit down and work through this with you'.
"The Prime Minister manages to just make some non-committal comments and the Premier wonders off thinking 'well do they want to care for people with disabilities or not?'
But a spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Newman's "offer over a cuppa" lacked detail.
"Premier Newman's offer over a cuppa had absolutely no detail and would have excluded thousands of Queenslanders from getting the care and services they need," the spokesman said.
Mr Newman admitted this was the "baseline" the state could afford.
In her letter to Mr Newman, Ms Gillard stated Queensland's proposal did not appear to meet the benchmark set in a state-federal 48.6%-51.4% funding split agreement with NSW.
"To meet the commitment set out by New South Wales, if the full scheme were in place, Queensland would need to invest $1.96 billion in disability care and support in 2018-19," the letter stated.
"The Commonwealth would, on similar terms to that agreement, invest more than $2 billion in disability care and support in Queensland in 2018-19.
"Queensland's failure to meet this level of investment means people with disability in Queensland will not get the standard of care and support of a National Disability Insurance Scheme."