By Genevieve Waldie
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has completed its five-year rollout across Queensland to support all people with disability, their families and carers.
The program aims to provide for individualised and flexible care to best assist people with disability, and also includes information about supports and services within their communities.
In Queensland, NDSI started on 1 January 2016; with first launch sites in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island before beginning rollout across the state.
The state will officially complete the implementation of the project on 1 October 2020, when NDIS Full Scheme arrangements take effect.
There are now around 85,000 Queenslanders registered with, or currently seeking access to, the NDIS and combined Federal and state government investment in the project expected to reach more than $4 billion in 2020-21.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, described it as a significant milestone in the NDIS rollout.
“Queensland now joins the rest of the country, apart from WA, with the NDIS operating under a full scheme agreement, securing the future of the NDIS for all Queenslanders.”
Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke said that more than 36,000 Queenslanders with a disability are receiving funded disability supports for the first time.
“We want to maintain momentum to make the NDIS as accessible as possible and bring more Queenslanders into the scheme so they can access life-changing services and supports.”
Increased numbers of NDIS participants also supports the development of our Queensland NDIS market, and creates more jobs, including jobs for people with disability.’
Coralee O’Rourke explained her office has been working to ensure fair and equitable access to the NDIS, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people with diverse and psychosocial disabilities, and ageing parents or carers of people with disability.
Government investment in the program includes Commonwealth funding of $20 million to expand the National Community Connectors program and $20 million to set up Assessment and Referral Teams in regional, rural and remote areas to help more Queenslanders access the NDIS.