by Alan Thornhill
Julia Gillard says she is “now very optimistic” about reaching agreement with the Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria on her proposed national disability insurance scheme.
The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters in Canberra.
Ms Gillard revealed that she had exchanged correspondence today with the two Premiers, who had previously refused to make the contributions she had sought, to launch trials of the proposed reform.
She said it now appears that the Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, would make the $42 million contribution that the Commonwealth required.
Ms Gillard said the New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has now also recognised that more money “needs to be put on the table.”
If this is so, it would weaken the position of two other Conservative Premiers, Western Australia’s Colin Barnett, and the Queensland’s, Campbell Newman, who also refused to contribute.
The Labor governments of Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT agreed, earlier this week, to contribute to trials in their jurisdictions.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Wednesday May 22
The Dow Jones Index rose 52.07 points to 15,387.30
At least 24 die in Oklahoma tornado
Unions are seeking a rise of $30 a week in the National Wage Case, which opens today
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