The federal government is drafting legislation for its National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) but funding won’t be enshrined anytime soon, Disabilities Minister Jenny Macklin says.


Ms Macklin said the agreement of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on Friday to the scheme, joining other premiers in launching trial sites was a great victory for people with disabilities.

The minister says a lot of work has been done on the costings for the scheme but the launch sites will help finalise the costings.

“We think we’ve got the numbers pretty clear,” she told the Ten Network on Sunday.

“The good thing is we’ll be able to test a lot of things on the ground on these launch sites.”

Ms Macklin says the government has found $1 billion to fund the NDIS in a “difficult budget”.

State premiers liked to frame the Productivity Commission report as saying the Commonwealth should fund the scheme, the minister said.

But if you read the report properly it said the commonwealth should pay and recoup some inefficient taxes back from the states, she said.

“You wouldn’t be surprised to know that the states have not offered up any taxes to the commonwealth.”

Ms Macklin says the government is in the process of drafting legislation, which it hopes to introduce to parliament as soon as possible to establish the scheme.

“It’s important to demonstrate … that this legislation will be through the federal parliament as soon as possible,” she said.

The federal government will continue to talk with states and territories about funding and “will eventually need to entrench the funding in legislation”, Ms Macklin said.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has refused to commit his state to the scheme because he says it doesn’t have the money and it is a commonwealth responsibility.

Ms Macklin says the federal government intends to shoulder more of the responsibility but believes it’s a shared responsibility, which is traditionally a state funded area.