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PM announces NDIS funding ahead of schedule
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced funding will be set aside in this year's budget to launch a national disability insurance scheme.
"Australia is ready for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)," Ms Gillard told a rally in Sydney, one of a number of such events being held today in support of the need for an campaigning for such a scheme.
"Today I can announce that in the May budget my government, your Labor government, will fund our share for the national disability insurance scheme," Ms Gillard told the gathering of almost 2000 people at Sydney's Olympic Park.
"We will launch a full year sooner than the Productivity Commission suggested."
From the middle of next year, select launch sites will begin serving 10,000 people with a disability.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who also attended the rally, said bipartisanship was needed at a federal level no matter which party won the next election.
"Delivering the national disability insurance scheme should be above politics," Mr O'Farrell told the gathering, adding that NSW was making itself NDIS-ready.
Federal opposition leader Tony Abbott earlier this month indicated that the coalition would support the establishment of an NDIS, proposing a bipartisan parliamentary committee to help bring the scheme to fruition
NDIS campaign director John Della Bosca said it was a policy idea "whose time has come".