Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Forging ahead towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme

More than 80 Far North Queenslanders, including people with disability, their families and carers, local service providers and advocacy groups, joined Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas and Queensland Minister for Disability Services, Curtis Pitt in Cairns today in support of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Hosting a community forum on the NDIS, Senator McLucas updated the community on the Australian’s Government progress on this exciting reform.

“The Australian Government is working to deliver a National Disability Insurance Scheme to make sure all Australians with disability get the care and support they need, no matter where they live or how they acquired their disability.

“We want every Australian, including people with disability, to achieve their best in life, to develop skills and gain experience, and to have the confidence to dream big and believe in themselves.

“And that’s what a National Disability Insurance Scheme is ultimately about – ensuring people with disability are supported to reach their potential.

“We now have agreement from the states and territories to lay the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme by mid-2013 – a year ahead of the timetable set out by the Productivity Commission.

“And just last week Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that a new agency will be established to lead the Australian Government’s work to design an NDIS,” Senator McLucas said.

The Prime Minister also announced an additional $10 million for projects that look at how to support people with disability and their carers and disability service providers, including care workers, make the transition to an NDIS.

A National Disability Insurance Scheme would fundamentally transform disability support for about 410,000 Australians with disability, their carers and their families, giving everyone the care and support that is reasonable and necessary to fully participate in society.

Senator McLucas said she was pleased with the interest local residents had shown in a NDIS and was determined to keep the momentum going.

“The strong attendance at today’s forum is testament to the local community’s support for fundamental reform of disability care and support.

“It means people with disability having more control over the support they receive, and being able to access care that meets their needs – not just whatever is available – so they can participate in school, work and the community to their full potential.

“That’s exactly what a National Disability Insurance Scheme will mean for people with disability, their families and carers,” Senator McLucas said.

An NDIS would provide a lifetime approach to support people with disability and provide better support for families and carers.

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme, a scheme that has the potential to do for disability, what Medicare did for health in this country, what superannuation did for retirement savings, what HECS did for education.

“It is a true Labor reform. We’ve always been about making sure no Australian is left behind, and about making sure everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential,” Senator McLucas said.

Other speakers included Fiona Anderson of Every Australian Counts ( and disability advocate Ian Chill.

For more information on the NDIS, go to