As the NSW government and its transport provider Intereach remain tight lipped on which disable people will be excluded from their services, Griffith Buslines and Taxis could soon be the only transport option for many in the MIA.
Disabled people are to be excluded from using NSW Government-funded Griffith Community Transport from June 30 – the rationale being the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will instead look after their transport needs.
But given the complexities and limitations of NDIS, there are fears many disable people will be literally left out in the cold.
“Griffith Buslines and Griffith Taxis is concerned to learn that people with disabilities are being excluded from services provided by NSW Government funded Community Transport Buses,” manager Sally Blair said.
She said some may be unaware Griffith Buslines offer concession fares to eligible passengers, such as all day travel $2.50 RED tickets to eligible passengers.
“Griffith Taxis can arrange participants access to the generous NSW Government funded TTSS transport funded travel scheme,” Ms Blair said.
“People who are facing difficulty in arranging affordable transport in and around Griffith should contact us on 6964 3113”.
Ms Blair added all drivers are fully trained to cater for disabled passengers.
But those who live in Leeton, Goolgowi, Hay and other surrounding MIA town could be left with no transport options.
Under the NDIS, individuals are funded directly to meet transport or other needs as part of their “plan”. But this may not help those who are unable to access any services in their area.
Anne Napoli, who cares for son Patrick, said, “I have had a huge amount of carers and people with a disability calling me with very valid concerns and uncertainty about their plan”.
Sue Murray, who cares for daughter Rachel, said the system is very confusing for people who don't have a strong advocate.
Not only are people being cut off from services, providers are also failing to publish information on how the NDIS will affect its most vulnerable clients.
Intereach, the private company providing Griffith Community Transport, said there will be “changes” for people from June 30; and a “range of options” will be available for those affected.
When asked what the change was, who was affected, and what the range of options are; Intereach said they “will not be making a further response”.
It is understood most people with a disability will be ineligible for their services, and instead have to rely on the NDIS.
An NDIS spokesperson said the scheme will assist people in:
- training and support to use public transport, where public transport is a viable option for the participant,
- modification to private vehicles and driver assessment and training, and
- some costs associated with the use of taxis, private transport or innovative transport options for participants who cannot travel independently or use public transport.
For more information on the NDIS, visit their website.
The Area News questions to Intereach:
1. Who exactly will be ineligible for Griffith Community Transport from June 30 this year?
2. What are some examples of the "range of options" available for those deemed ineligible?
Thank you for the enquiry. Intereach will not be making any further response.