QLD NDIS Roll Out Ahead of Schedule
29 September 2015 at 12:11 pm
The Queensland Government has announced the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be available in North Queensland from early 2016 – six months ahead of the full roll out.
The decision means that people with disability aged under 18 in Townsville and Charters Towers, and all eligible people with disability on Palm Island will be the first in Queensland to access the NDIS.
Around 1,600 people are expected to be eligible for the NDIS in the early transition sites, with up to 600 of these people expected to receive their funded packages before 1 July next year.
Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this decision means 1,600 North Queenslanders with disability will start seeing the benefits of the NDIS before the full Queensland roll out begins next July.
The Premier said the decision is also a clear sign of the commitment the Queensland Government has to rolling out the NDIS to all eligible Queenslanders with disability.
“The NDIS will bring greater choice and control over how people with disability live their lives and receive support, and I’m pleased we’re delivering that early,” Palaszczuk said.
“It will also bring huge economic benefits, creating 13,000 additional jobs in Queensland’s disability sector and injecting around $4 billion each year into the state’s economy.”
Queensland’s Minister for Disability Coralee O’Rourke said the Government chose Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island for the early launch because they “offered the best combination to test the NDIS in Queensland’s unique and diverse environment”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Commonwealth Government would continue to work closely with Queensland to deliver the full roll out of the NDIS so that all Queenslanders with disabilities can access its benefits.
"Today, we are providing early transition to the NDIS, particularly for young people with a disability in Townsville and Charters Towers," Turnbull said.
"I am also very pleased that all eligible Palm Islanders with a disability will also receive early access to the NDIS from 2016."
The Queensland Government contributed $1.6 million towards early access of the scheme in North Queensland, with the Commonwealth Government supplying $2.5 million.
Last week NDIS agreements were signed between the Turnbull Government and the New South Wales and Victorian State Governments.
People With Disability Australia President, Craig Wallace, said the organisation was pleased the NDIS deals were a priority for the new Liberal leader.
“We welcome this commitment by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,” Wallace said.
“It's great to see such a significant commitment to the NDIS so early in the life of a refreshed Government and at the Prime Minister’s first major press conference.”