Stakeholders and local people with disability have come together in Maryborough today (11 February) for the first of a series of forums across the state to discuss how to support more Queenslanders to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke said Maryborough hosted the first of the Queensland Government-run forums because it was the first area to benefit from a $20 million investment to support people with disability living in regional, rural and remote parts of the state to access the NDIS.
“Today’s forum was an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of the NDIS in local areas, and how we can increase the number of people with disability accessing the scheme,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
The forum also explored how local case managers can support potential participants in the Maryborough region through the NDIS application process.
“It also gives us an opportunity to introduce the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) that we have set up in Maryborough as part of the $20 million investment made available through collaboration with the Commonwealth Government.” Mrs O’Rourke said
The ART will engage with local government and community agencies to support people with disability to access the NDIS.
“The response from the forum to the establishment of the ART has been very positive and I look forward to returning to Maryborough in the near future to see the results of this investment.”
In addition to providing people with the supports they need, the NDIS is contributing to jobs growth across Queensland.
In the area, $197.3 million has been committed in NDIS plans to date.
This has led to a 90 per cent increase in people starting jobs in the local disability sector since 1 July 2018.
Maryborough will be serviced by at least three local ART case managers and one clinician, with additional staff to be brought in if demand for support is high.
Minister O’Rourke said she was pleased with the take-up of the NDIS in the Maryborough region.
“Ninety per cent of our former Queensland Government disability services clients in the Maryborough area who actively sought access to the NDIS have met eligibility requirements,” she said.
“This is very positive news, however, we know that there are people who may be eligible for the NDIS that aren’t receiving supports and that is why Queensland has negotiated this $20 million investment from the Commonwealth to further support people with disability to access the NDIS."
“While access by new entrants is a Commonwealth responsibility, my focus is on doing whatever we can to help all Queenslanders with disability receive the support they need and deserve.”
For more information on the NDIS, visit www.ndis.gov.au or phone 1800 800 110 and for people with hearing or speech loss, phone TTY 1800 555 677.
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke