Before I was elected to this place, I spent many years as a community worker, including many years working for people with disabilities—including young kids with developmental disabilities and people who had recently suffered a spinal cord injury—and helping them to find their way back into some semblance of a normal life.
So it was with great pride that I stood on that side of the House and spoke in favour of the legislation that was introduced into the House by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013, which laid the foundations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
This is a scheme that will transform the lives of nearly half a million Australians, and their families and their carers. It is truly revolutionary. It follows in the footsteps of a series of revolutionary Labor reforms, which we all own as a parliament and that we have all gone on to be very, very proud of as Australians. I am proud to say that in my own area, the Illawarra, from July 2017 the NDIS will be arriving. When I spoke to the service providers in the Illawarra today, including the Illawarra Disability Trust and other service providers, they welcomed it.
Sure they said, 'It would have been good if it had come a year earlier.' We envy some of those regions whose MPs spoke earlier—the member for Canberra is here and I know that it has rolled out early in her region. We envy them. We are going to have a first-class disability service in the Illawarra, and that is something we are proud of.