Batt pushes for taxi scheme's extension
HAILING a taxi can be a helpful means of transport and for some people with a disability it's their main way of getting from A to B.
Bundaberg MP David Batt is calling on the Queensland Government to extend the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for NDIS participants past June 30.
He said despite the NDIS yet to establish adequate transport support, the government still planed to close the scheme to NDIS participants in the new financial year, while the rest of the nation maintained their respective schemes until they have transitioned to the NDIS.
"Here in the Wide Bay, we have a higher than average rate of disability, which means many members of our local community will be negatively impacted,” he said.
"Those living with a disability often face enough challenges every day, without having their transport support taken away. "With the cut-off not far into the future, local residents have contacted my office to voice their concerns to explain just how much this will change their life.”
He said in a regional area like Bundaberg with limited public transport, removing the scheme would make it harder for those with a disability.
"The government needs to extend the TSS to NDIS participants until they have adequate support available,” Mr Batt said.
Spinal Life Australia Bundaberg spokeswoman Patricia Allison said currently those on the TSS could be picked up by a maxi taxi provided an affordable option to be taken to work or enjoy a day out in the community.
A spokesperson for Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in July 2017, following concerns that participants were not receiving sufficient transport supports in their National Disability Insurance Scheme plans under federal provisions, the Palaszczuk Government reinstated the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.
The scheme was to be available to NDIS participants until 30 June 2019, by which time the NDIS will be fully rolled out by the Federal Government in Queensland.
"The Palaszczuk Government is focused on ensuring appropriate transport supports are in place for NDIS eligible Taxi Subsidy Scheme members beyond 30 June 2019 and is currently working with the Federal Government to ensure they meet their responsibility so Queenslanders with disability receive the transport supports they need as part of their NDIS plans,” the spokesperson said.