Maryborough will be the first cab off the rank for action, as part of a $20 million investment that will see a new team established in the area to support Queenslanders with disability to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Minister for Disability Services Coralee O'Rourke said the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) would begin supporting people with disability living in Maryborough, South Burnett, North Burnett and the Fraser Coast to access the NDIS next week.
“As of Monday (10 February), this team will begin engaging with local disability service providers to identify people who may need extra help to apply for the NDIS, and make direct referrals for ART to prioritise,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“ART will then work with these people with disability to help them with the NDIS application process.
“People who are not eligible for the NDIS will be referred to the Queensland Community Support Scheme or mainstream agencies to link them with other support options.
“This critical work will complement the Palaszczuk Government’s existing and highly effective Specialist Disability Outreach Access Clinics that travel to remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support access to the NDIS.”
Queensland negotiated the $20 million investment from the Commonwealth Government in recognition that not enough new entrants had joined the NDIS across the state.
Almost 2500 people with disability were receiving supports (as at December 31 2019) through the NDIS in Maryborough, South Burnett, North Burnett and the Fraser Coast areas
To support the ART in Maryborough, a Local Champion will be appointed who has established relationships and local knowledge that will help the team reach more people in the area that may be eligible for the NDIS.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the transition of people, who had been receiving state-funded disability support services, to the NDIS had been very positive in the Maryborough region, with 90 per cent of those actively seeking access entering the scheme.
“While this is great news, recent NDIS data is showing that new entrant rates in Maryborough–that is, people who have never received government-funded supports before–needs improvement,” Mr Saunders said.
“Access to the NDIS by new entrants is the Commonwealth Government’s responsibility, but Queensland has agreed to further help with this important work.
“That’s why this local area has been identified as a priority for our new ART.
“The NDIS is contributing to jobs growth across Queensland.
“In the area, $197.3 million has been committed in NDIS plans to date.
“This had led to a 90 per cent increase in people starting jobs in the local disability sector since 1 July 2018.
“At least three local ART case managers together with one clinician will be located in Maryborough from early 2020, and additional staff will be brought in if demand for support is high.”
Minister O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government wanted to see all eligible people with disability accessing services and support through the NDIS across all areas of the state.
“We play a vital role in supporting and advocating for people with disability, along with monitoring the NDIS to ensure it is delivering the outcomes we all expect for Queenslanders with disability,” she said.
“Importantly, we want all Queenslanders with disability and their families to be able to take advantage of the full range of social and economic opportunities available in our great state.”
For more information about the ART, visit www.qld.gov.au/disabilityoutreach.
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke