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Draft NDIS bill released

THE Federal Government will this week introduce legislation to create the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

A draft version of the bill was released on Monday setting out a framework for the scheme.

The bill, which will establish an independent body to deliver the scheme, includes details about eligibility criteria, age requirements, and what constitutes reasonable and necessary support.

Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin issued a statement saying the bill would contain detailed rules making it adaptable.

She said consultation on these rules would occur with disabled people, their families, carers, service providers and advocates in the coming months.

The same people have already played a part in shaping the bill, Ms Macklin said, along with state and territory ministers who have also provided feedback.

The independent body will work with disabled people to develop a personal plan that identifies their goals and aspirations, recognises the support they receive from family and friends, and provides a statement of the support they will receive through the NDIS.

The legislation also supports people to manage their own funding where they choose to do so.

From the middle of next year, the NDIS will be launched at five sites across the country - in the Barwon area in Victoria, the Hunter in New South Wales and across South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

A parliamentary committee will be asked to review the legislation after it is introduced this week.

Ms Macklin said the legislation would be reviewed after two years to ensure it was working.

Opposition disabilities spokesman Mitch Fifield welcomed the release of the bill but said it should have happened earlier to allow for public comment.

He said the opposition would carefully examine the bill and consult with the sector.

News of the bill being introduced came as a group ramped up its campaign in Canberra to ensure the NDIS received adequate funding.

Campaigners from Every Australian Counts knocked on the doors of MPs in Parliament House to deliver about 2000 personal messages written from constituents to their local members.

The messages call for two things: for the MPs to speak to their respective party leaders, party rooms and in the Parliament itself in support of the NDIS, and; for party leaders to commit to the full roll out of the NDIS including the $5 billion required in the next budget.

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