Victoria Secures NDIS Trial
13 August 2012 at 2:29 pm
The Federal and Victorian Governments have reached an agreement to trial the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Barwon Region from 1 July 2013.
The agreement comes after the Victoria Premier called on the Prime Minister last week to confirm that Victoria would be home to an NDIS pilot program as well as the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin made a joint announcement about the program with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and Victorian Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge.
“This is great news for the 5000 people with a disability and of course their families and carers in the Barwon region,” Macklin said.
“We have to make sure that we are ready to deliver for the people in the Barwon region who are really looking forward to being part of the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”
Premier Baillieu also welcomed the trialing of the insurance scheme in the Geelong region.
“I'm particularly pleased that we have reached an agreement to hold a trial in the Barwon region and I'm even more pleased that that trial will commence in 2013,” he said.
Wooldridge said that there would be an expansion of services in the area and that people with a disability in the pilot zone will have access to a wider range of support and care services they’ll be able to receive.
The rollout of the trial scheme was explained by Macklin.
“What it will mean for people with disability is that first and foremost they will have their full needs assessed. There'll be a proper plan done of the individual's needs: whether it is that they need more equipment; whether it is they need their house modified or whether they need other accommodation choices; whether they need different caring arrangement; whether their carers need access to better respite; and as we've indicated today one of the important things is of course many of the gaps in services will be addressed,” she said.
“We also of course need to make sure the non-government organisations are ready, that people get their assessments done. Everybody's going to need to have their actual assessments ready to be done from 1 July next year. We've been working with the state on a common assessment tool and on quality assurance arrangements. So we have an enormous amount to do.”
Victorian manager Rhonda Lawson of disability peak body National Disability Services (NDS) said they would seek to ensure that all disability service providers are strengthened and prepared for the challenges of both the present and the future.
“NDS is well aware of the steep task ahead for these providers as they now prepare themselves for a market-based system. This is a radical shift for services, although it builds on a number of years of progressive reform in Victoria,” she said.
“The big difference is that this reform has previously been unfunded, and consequently those involved have all struggled against the odds. With the NDIS people with a disability will get the support they need when they need it.
“We look forward to working closely with the Victorian government and disability services in the Barwon site to equip them for the new world.”
Under an NDIS people with disability in the Barwon region will:
- be assessed to receive NDIS individualised care and support packages
- have decision-making power about their care and support, including choice of service provider
- be assisted by local coordinators to help manage and deliver their support
- access a system they can easily navigate and that will link them to mainstream and community services
The Australian and Victorian Governments have said they will hold further discussions regarding the exact location of the agency to be located in Geelong.
For more information visit www.ndis.gov.au.