MEDIA RELEASE: Taxi Subsidy Scheme reinstated for NDIS Participants

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) welcomes the announcement by the Queensland Government today to reinstate the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants until 30 June 2019 during transition.

Mr Nigel Webb, Chairperson QDN Board of Directors said, “This is a positive result for Queenslanders with disability and shows a commitment to working towards a long term solution that ensures people with disability can access the transport they need to live their lives.”

Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke said today that the decision came in response to concerns expressed by some Queenslanders with disabilities that their NDIS packages are not providing sufficient support for their transport needs.

QDN has been pleased to lead this work on behalf of Queenslanders with disability, their families and disability and community organisations. Last year, QDN members in Townsville highlighted this issue and the negative impacts that they were experiencing in their day to day life without access to similar levels of transport assistance in their NDIS plans and the removal of their TSS card as they entered the scheme.

In December 2016, QDN and 34 of our allies wrote to the Minister for Transport to highlight these issues and the negative impacts of the removal of the TSS on NDIS eligible participants. QDN is pleased that the Government has undertaken the recommendations made in the letter, and while only for the period until 30 June 2019, QDN is pleased that all parties are actively working together to find an alternative long term solution.

Mr Webb said “Accessible public transport remains a Commonwealth, State and Local Government responsibility and a right of all people. Transport is an essential part of people’s lives making sure they can get out and about in their community, to get to work, to the doctors, to do the shopping, to visit friends and family.” The TSS was introduced by the Queensland Government in 1987 with the aim of providing accessible travel options for people with a disability who experience profound difficulty in using other forms of public transport.

Mr Webb said, “The NDIS is about social and economic participation. People need accessible public and private transport to make this happen and they need their NDIS plans to provide them with the same access to this transport as they had previously.”

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, and Department of Transport and Main Roads will be making more information available this week and have advised that people whose TSS membership ceased on entry into the NDIS can apply to have their membership reinstated.

QDN looks forward to continuing to work with State and Commonwealth Governments and the National Disability Insurance Agency to find a long term solution to this issue that upholds the rights of people with disability to access the transport options they need to participate in their community.

QDN will keep members informed as information comes through.

END: 15 July 2017

Contact: Paige Armstrong, CEO (ph) 3252 8566

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