WA accused of ‘petty politics’ over disability scheme

FEDERAL Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten has taken aim at West Australian Premier Colin Barnett, accusing him of playing petty politics over a national disability insurance scheme.

Mr Barnett said yesterday that WA won't support unilateral change to his state's disability programs, especially if it involved another "another clumsy, commonwealth attempt at take-over" of state funding.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Wednesday the Federal Government would commit $10 million towards "technical policy work" on the concept of a national disability insurance scheme.

The announcement was in response to a recommendation by the Productivity Commission that a scheme costing $6.5 billion a year be rolled out gradually from mid-2014.

Currently the Commonwealth provides about $2.3 billion in annual funding to the disability sector while state and territory governments contribute about $4.7 billion.

One of the funding