Illawarra speaks up for NDIS

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, today joined Illawarra Federal MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones at a community forum in Dapto to discuss the progress towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Local people with disability, their families and carers, as well as local service providers attended the forum to hear how an NDIS will work for people with disability, and the work underway to launch the scheme.

“The Gillard Government is working hard to build an NDIS to make sure people with disability get the care and support they need, no matter where they live or how they acquired their disability,” Ms Macklin said.

“We’ve shown we’re prepared to do the heavy lifting by investing $1 billion to deliver the first stage of an NDIS.

“From next year, an NDIS will be a reality for thousands of people with disability, their families and carers in select locations across the country.”

In New South Wales, the New South Wales Government has nominated the Hunter region as the location for a launch.

From mid-2013, about 20,000 Australians with significant and permanent disability in the launch sites will: • work with local people to identify their plans and goals for the future; • be assessed to receive 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; and • access a system they can easily navigate that links them to mainstream and community services.

Ms Bird said residents in the Illawarra had shown their strong support for an NDIS.

“I’ve been getting plenty of phone calls and emails from local people telling me how important this reform is to them and their family,” Ms Bird said.

“They know we need to fundamentally change the way we deliver care and support for people with disability, and they are really pleased that the Government is leading the way in making this change happen.”

Mr Jones said locals would continue to have a voice as the Government worked towards the launch.

“The Government has set up a series of advisory groups that include people with disability, carers, service providers and other experts, to help us make sure we are getting the vital elements of an NDIS right,” Mr Jones.

“Sharon and I will continue talking with people with disability, their families and carers up and down the Illawarra, to make sure we keep getting their feedback.

“People with disability and their advocates here in the Illawarra have told us loud and clear today that they want an NDIS, and that’s what we are working hard to build.”