Major handicap overcome
WITH two adult daughters in wheelchairs, Ballina's Elizabeth Zulpo knows how much the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would help her family.
"I've got Belinda, who's 31, and Amanda, who's 30. I also had a son, Danny, the youngest, but he died in August last year," she said.
"They have a degenerative condition that can't be properly diagnosed. The NDIS would simplify our lives.
"I know that it would give us, as a family, more control.
"We would be able to plan the future a lot more and it would give us security that we just don't have at the moment."
In a major step forward, the scheme now has bipartisan support, after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last week gave his commitment to its implementation.
The chief executive of Ballina-based DAISI (Disability and Aged Information Service Inc), Dona Graham, welcomed Mr Abbott's support.
"We are absolutely thrilled," she said.
"This will be a revolution. It will empower people with a disability.
"Without the support of a scheme like this, there is no quality of life.
"I put the NDIS up there with the vote for women and the vote for indigenous Australians.
"It's a fundamental social right and will put Australia on the front foot where it belongs."
The Every Australian Counts Campaign has also commended Mr Abbott for committing to the NDIS, saying it showed a "spirit of bipartisanship on an issue which transcends politics".
Campaign director John Della Bosca said it was the first time "in a very long time both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition championing major social reform".
"I can't name too many other national issues where this level of consensus exists," he said.