Despite the support from the people, the NDIS is only set to trial in three states
Photo © 2012 AAP One/Dione Hodgson
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her "door is still open" to the biggest states signing up to trial the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT on Wednesday agreed to part-fund launch sites for the NDIS, with the federal government contributing $1 billion and administering the scheme.
But the premiers of Victoria and NSW, who put in bids, walked away from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting without a deal.
Ms Gillard on Thursday told reporters in Canberra her government had made extra money available despite a tight budget, and so should the biggest states.
She had a message for the premiers of NSW and Victoria: "You can't walk in front of a TV camera and put your hand on your heart and say `I support the National Disability Insurance Scheme' and then when it comes to actually turning your words into deeds you say no.
"My door is still open."
Ms Gillard said the NSW and Victorian premiers were effectively saying that the people in their proposed trial regions were "not worth" the $20,700 a person required for the trial.
But she said the federal government would get on with building the scheme.
"We hit the go button on this yesterday," she said.
Asked why the federal government would not cover all the extra costs, Ms Gillard said it was a "shared business".
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, whose trial will cover up to 5000 people across the entire territory, said that in time the NDIS would come to be seen as a "no-brainer".
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu told ABC radio he still supported a trial but wanted more clarity about funding obligations.
"The Commonwealth responded in a way which ... wasn't consistent with our previous understanding, so we sought to have that discussion," he said.
Federal Liberal frontbencher Bruce Billson said Ms Gillard had "shirt-fronted" the premiers by not making an offer in line with the Productivity Commission's report which recommended the new scheme.
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