Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth and Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today joined local people with disability, their families and carers as well as local service providers at a community forum in Dapto on DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme.
1 July saw the historic launch of DisabilityCare Australia, meaning Australianswith significant and permanent disability in four launch sites around the country now for the first time have the power to choose the support they need and how that support is provided.
When the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019, about 460,000 Australians with disability will get the support they need and deserve.
Mr Jones said the community forum provided an important opportunity for local people to learn more about this essential reform and its progress, and to have their questions answered.
DisabilityCare Australia will involve major changes in the way we work with local people with disability, their families, carers and service providers.
It replaces a broken and inadequate system that has failed people with disability as well as their families and carers for far too long.
DisabilityCare Australia will give local residents the peace of mind that if they, their child or a loved one has a significant and permanent disability, they will get the support they need, when they need it, over their lifetime.
Ms Rishworth said that more than 26,000 people across the four launch sites- the Hunter area in New South Wales, Geelong and the Barwon area in Victoria, in South Australia for children and in Tasmania for young people- will benefit from the first stage of the scheme, which will be gradually implemented to ensure we establish a sustainable national scheme and that people can transition into the scheme smoothly.
Ms Rishworth said DisabilityCare Australia will fundamentally change the way we support people with disability, their families and carers.
DisabilityCare Australia is the biggest reform to the disability sector that Australia has ever seen, Ms Rishworth said.
In the 2013-14 Federal Budget the Federal Labor Government made the responsible decision to fully fund DisabilityCare Australia into the long term. This long term funding security will provide people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers the certainty that they deserve.
More than 26,000 people with disability, their families and carers are benefiting from the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia, including about 10,000 people living in the Hunter in NSW.
By July 2016, all eligible residents with significant and permanent disability in the Hunter will have a plan of support that is tailored to their individual needs and preferences, and can be adapted over their lifetime.
We will then start working towards the full roll-out of the scheme to all eligible people in New South Wales, so that by July 2018 about 150, 000 people with disability will be part of the scheme across the state.