Labor candidate Robyn Walsh touring the district. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYNLABOR candidate for Indi Robyn Walsh says no family can underestimate the importance of the national disability insurance scheme.
Ms Walsh yesterday said the scheme, which has been renamed DisabilityCare, was a key achievement of the Gillard government.
As a parent of a child who had a disability, it was a scheme she found meaningful.
The newly endorsed candidate was in Wodonga on her first official day of the campaign trail, though she admitted she had been working up to this point for the past three months, and spoke frankly about her situation.
Her daughter, now 30, lived with cystic fibrosis up until three years ago, when she had a double lung transplant.
“It was very dramatic — we could have made a movie about it,” Ms Walsh said.
“I’d had my son and was enjoying parenthood, then we had our daughter and suddenly your world comes crashing down — everything changes.
“So I understand the need for families to have security and support and this program’s going to deliver it.”
Though her daughter is now doing very well, she knows other families aren’t so fortunate.
They never know when funding like DisabilityCare will be needed.
“I have a cousin who was involved in a car accident at 21 and has an acquired brain injury,” Ms Walsh said.
He needed ongoing support from his family.
Ms Walsh also spoke of one of her other pet projects, the Donate Life program aimed at increasing organ donation, started by Kevin Rudd.
She had little to say on last week’s Labor leadership battle between Mr Rudd and Julia Gillard.
“The negativity and white noise coming out of Canberra have drowned out the good news stories and policies delivered,” she said.
“I’m proud to be a (Labor) candidate because we’ve got fantastic programs being rolled out.
“Now we have the opportunity to actually make the other candidates present their policies, because they haven’t had to.
“There’s been so much going on that they haven’t had to explain where they’re going to take Australia.”
Ms Walsh also spoke of her interest on seeing the Gonski reforms get through and improving the year 12 attainment rate in Indi (at 65per cent), and seeing the NBN is completed.
Ms Walsh, who has a farm based in Yarck, said she intended to get to every part of the electorate during her campaign.
Her campaign yesterday took in Wodonga, Wangaratta, Benalla, Mansfield and Alexandra.
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