The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has reached another milestone in Queensland, with the scheme set to roll out in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays region from today.
Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke told State Parliament today it was positive news for local people with disability who had been waiting anxiously for the scheme to arrive.
“Once fully operational, the NDIS will support more than 3100 people with disability in the Mackay – Whitsundays region, giving them the choice and control to live an ordinary life,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“The scheme is also expected to create up to 650 jobs in the region’s disability sector alone, which is great news for locals,” she said.
“Last week in the Whitsundays for Community Cabinet, I attended an NDIS Jobs Forum held by my Department, to encourage local businesses to take advantage of the many economic opportunities under the NDIS.
“The shift from traditional disability services to consumer driven support will see business opportunities open up in a range of areas, including everything from tourism to transport and the arts.”
Minister O’Rourke said she also had the opportunity to speak to disability services officers on the ground, and received a full briefing from my Department’s Regional Executive Director about the current situation in the region.
“I was pleased to hear from my local briefings that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has shown a presence in town over the past week, and that Carers Queensland and Connections Inc. are undertaking community engagement for the NDIA,” she said.
“However, it was disappointing that Local Area Coordinators had not been rolled out as early as committed by the Federal Government, and the NDIS shop front has not yet opened.
“My Queensland NDIS Transition Advisory Group has also provided me with advice on issues occurring on the ground, and what I’m hearing are some early examples where the experiences of participants has been poor, impersonal, and unsatisfactory.
“Given the Turnbull Government’s bungling of the new NDIS IT system and concerns raised by other jurisdictions, I’ve written to Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter seeking reassurance that the NDIS stays true to its intent.
“Queensland has done and will continue to do everything possible to assist, including temporarily transferring 13 staff to support the NDIA in North Queensland where the rollout is underway.”
Minister O’Rourke said she also shared the concerns of many Queenslanders regarding the Turnbull Government’s handling of the NDIA Board.
“We strongly advocated for the current NDIA Chairman Bruce Bonyhady to remain on the Board, and for a greater representation of people with lived experience of disability.
“It’s disappointing Minister Porter did not listen when Queensland, along with other states and territories, voiced their concerns.
“I want all Queenslanders with disability, their carers, family and friends to feel assured that my Department is working closely with the NDIA to make sure the potential of this great reform is realised.”
For information on the NDIS rollout visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the NDIA on 1800 800 110.
Minister O’Rourke’s office 3719 7170