National Capital First for Full NDIS
3 April 2014 at 3:57 pm
The Australian Capital Territory will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to accept all eligible people into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) starting from July 1.
So far across Australia the NDIS has commenced in four launch sites – the Barwon in Victoria, the Hunter in NSW, Tasmania and South Australia – with eight offices and 500 staff.
From July 1, the Barkly region of Northern Territory and the Perth Hills of Western Australia will also start their schemes.
The roll out of the full scheme in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory is not expected until July 2016.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Minister for Disability Joy Burch said that the rollout would almost double the size of ACT’s disability sector workforce.
Gallagher said from July 1, about 5,000 Canberrans with disability will start to transition into the NDIS.
“The NDIS will see an unprecedented level of investment in disability services in the ACT – $342 million a year by 2019-20 – and the growth in the disability sector workforce needs to be supported by growth in non-government service providers,” the Chief Minister said.
“The non-government sector needs room to grow so it can provide the choice of services that the 5,000 Canberrans who will be transitioning to the NDIS will want.
“To create this room, today I announce that the ACT Government will gradually withdraw from the provision of specialist disability services over a period of three years.
“This expansion is central to the key principle of the NDIS – to provide people with disability choice and control over their services. Increasing the range of service providers will increase choice and control.
“Canberrans and particularly those who will be a part of this scheme should be assured that no person with disability currently receiving ACT Government disability services will be left without support.”
As part of the ACT’s move, the ACT Government says it will introduce a phased withdrawal from provision of accommodation support, therapy services and early childhood intervention programs for children with developmental delays which will commence at the end of this year and be implemented over a three-year period.
Current clients will be able to continue to choose Disability ACT as their provider until the end of June 2017, when government-provided accommodation support will be phased out.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme came under fire recently after an independent review on the early operation of the scheme and the agency's capacity to deliver a full rollout, revealed that staff had a lack of clear guidance on the way the scheme operated, including eligibility and support.
Individuals, families, carers or staff wanting more information on NDIS in the ACT, can contact a dedicated information hub during business hours on 02 6207 1086.