In addition to facilitating vital support services, MS Queensland works to raise awareness of key issues facing people living with MS and other Progressive Neurological Disease (PND). Our goal is to advocate, educate and provide information to government, businesses and the community.

We have a number of Advocates who represent the interests of the MS community and champion policy issues and encourage commitment from stakeholders to achieve our goals. Nationally, our MS Advocates work together with members of Federal and State Governments to highlight a number of issues which are listed below. 

 

OUR BUDGET SUBMISSION

To view MS Queensland's State Budget submission 2015/2016, click here.

 

POLICY ISSUES

All members of the MS community can help raise awareness of these areas by taking part in our campaigns. If you would like to lend your voice, please contact Natalie Walsh on 07 3840 0823 or email natalie.walsh@msqld.org.au.


NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NDIS)

The NDIS is now rolling out across Queensland, providing people with more choice and control over the care and support they receive. 

The implementation of the NDIS will provide the chance for true change in the lives of people living with disability, their families and carers. 

We are here to help you understand the NDIS and what it means to you and can assist with planning and preparation. You can find out more about the NDIS rollout and how we can help you on the NDIS section of our website or contact our InfoLine on 1800 177 591 or email ndis@msqld.org.au.

We encourage everyone to ensure their voice is heard during this critical development time of the scheme. Whilst the final introduction of the NDIS may seem some time away, it is vital that this new very complex system is given proper time and investment to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved and the varying needs of the disability community as a whole are identified and appropriately catered for throughout a person’s life.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Natalie Walsh on 07 3840 0823 or email natalie.walsh@msqld.org.au

We will continue to provide monthly updates on the developments until it becomes a reality for all - click here to view our monthly NDIS updates. 


EMPLOYMENT RETENTION

Employment is a key contributor to quality of life for people with chronic illness. With the average age of diagnosis at 30, people with MS have built significant skills and experience during their career that they want to continue to build. However between 50 – 80% of people living with MS are unemployed within 10 years of diagnosis and over 500,000 workers are lost from the labour force due to chronic illness each year.

To further highlight this critical issue for people living with MS and other PND, we actively seek support and understanding from key stakeholders and decision makers through activities like roundtables involving key stakeholders and members of State and Federal Government.

Following forums in Brisbane in 2011 and the Sunshine Coast in 2012, 2016 saw an expanded NCN Employment Retention Q&A roundtable hosted. This forum allowed people living with MS and other PND and their carers to highlight this critical advocacy issue and discuss the best points of leverage to assist transformative change that Government reform is driving.

For further information regarding Employment Retention, please contact us on 07 3840 0823.


ENERGY USE

Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession

In 2009/10 MS Queensland led an extensive campaign with support of the MS Community and the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Alliance and together achieved the introduction of a new electricity rebate for low-income Queenslanders with MS and other chronic conditions that require the use of electricity for cooling and heating.

In the 2010/2011 Queensland State Government Budget the government dedicated $6.7 million over four years to the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession scheme. This campaign was greatly assisted by the letters that individuals took the time to write to their local MPs, sharing their stories of living with MS and the costs that are incurred to keep cool. MS Queensland lobbied for several months with Rights in Action, Parkinson’s Queensland, the Queensland Council of Social Service, Spinal Injuries Association and other organisations.

For more details about the concession, click here.


What is the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession?

Currently, the $329 annual rebate will help people with MS meet the energy costs incurred as a result of their condition. It is in addition to the existing electricity rebate for pensioners and healthcare card holders, which is also $329.

Why is it needed?

About 90 per cent of people with MS are heat intolerant and their symptoms can increase significantly if they get too hot. Out of necessity, people with MS use air-conditioners almost 15 times more than the average Australian. The cost of doing so is very high.

Are you eligible?

To find out if you qualify for the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession, please click here.

How do you claim the concession?

Applicants must have a medical condition requiring cooling or heating to prevent the symptoms of their condition worsening. They must also hold a Pensioner concession card or a current Health Care card. MS Queensland continues to advocate widely for these rebates to cover anyone with a medical condition affected by heat or cold.


Other concessions

Raising awareness of issues that affect people living with MS is on-going and must be kept up-to-date in our fluid political environment. MS Australia worked with the Federal Government when the Carbon Tax was being introduction to ensure people with a medical need to keep cool did not incur extra costs for using their medical equipment under a carbon price. As a result, a Federal Rebate is also available for people with essential medical equipment needs for people holding a Commonwealth concession card and must rely on essential equipment. To check other concessions that you may be eligible for, including natural gas rebate, electricity life support concession aandhome energy emergency assistance scheme, click here.  

 

HOUSING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Affordable housing options must be provided to address the chronic undersupply of age appropriate high needs housing in Queensland.

 

UNIVERSAL HOUSING DESIGN

The Council of Australian Governemnts (COAG) endorsed 2010-20 National Disability Strategy commits to the agreed 'Universal Design Standard' for all new housing by 2020. Unfortunately a voluntary uptake for the proposed standard has failed to reach interim targets and will not reach 5% of the 2020 target. MS Queensland supports the proposal that the standard should be considered for future inclusion in the National Construction Code (NCC).


MS RESEARCH 

Currently there is no cure. Without sufficient research, a cure and more effective treatments willnot be found. MS Research Australia coordinates research nationally, by partnering with at least 30 Australian research institutes including all of the major Queensland universities.


MS AMBASSADORS 

Our MS Ambassadors share their experiences of living with MS and help to educate the local communities in which they live. Our Ambassadors are inspirational speakers who share with their audiences an intimate knowledge of MS and the impact it has had on their lives. This group of passionate volunteers makes a significant and valuable contribution. MS Ambassadors play a vital role in building relationships between MS Queensland and corporate and community organisations. If you would like to express interest in becoming an MS Ambassador, please call us on 1800 177 591.