by Ross Sharp

From today’s letters in the Sydney Morning Herald

“The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, told a conference in Sydney on Monday of his support for people with disabilities (”Disabled woman interrupts PM”,, December 3).

”When it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, I am Dr Yes.” He pledged his ”personal commitment” to do all he reasonably could to support people with disabilities. He said that this year, his annual charity bike ride, Pollie Pedal, was in support of Carers Australia. He observed that his cauliflower ears were the result of the way carers had ”chewed my ear” about disability support.

Mr Abbott needs to be reminded that during the last election campaign while the government had a policy to give all kids with a disability an annual allowance for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and related services, which it has since put into practice, he excused himself from matching these promises because of Labor’s budget deficit. He was more intent, as always, on scoring political points than doing what was right.

Thankfully, he didn’t get in, and my son, who has cerebral palsy, has benefited greatly from the program, to the point where my wife and I feel much more confident about his capacity to be independent when he grows up. All thanks to Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten, who even called me to discuss the policy when I wrote to him before the election, and no thanks to Tony Abbott or anyone in his party, none of whom ever even responded to my various letters and emails.

To see him run around trying to trumpet his credentials in relation to disabilities just makes me angry.” – James Manche, Dulwich Hill

Yes. It would.