Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Designing a National Disability Insurance Scheme

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister
  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Gillard Government today announced a new agency will be established to lead the Commonwealth’s work to design the launch of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The agency will also oversee new projects to that identify practical ways to prepare the disability sector and workforce, and people with disability, to move to a new ways of delivering disability services.

The Gillard Government will provide $10 million for projects that examine how to deliver individual, personalised care, ending the crisis-driven approach that is still sometimes applied.

Following in the footsteps of Medicare, an NDIS will make sure Australians with disability have access to the services they need to participate in society, no matter where they live or how they acquired the disability.

An NDIS will involve fundamental changes to the way disability care and support is provided in Australia.

It will operate on insurance principles and give people with disability greater control and choice over the services they receive, for example through individualised funding.

This will finally end the cruel lottery that means the services people with disability get depend on where they live, what disability they have and how they got that disability.

Throughout 2012, the Gillard Government will work closely with state and territory governments, people with disability, their families and carers, service providers and the disability care and support workforce on the critical design and development work that is needed for a launch.

The new agency’s work will build on the foundation reforms agreed by the Commonwealth, states and territories at the meeting of the Select Council on Disability Reform in October. Work to deliver the foundation reforms is now underway.

The new projects will give the disability workforce, service providers and people with disability the opportunity to work with government on the development of a launch of an NDIS.

For example, a project could examine how service providers can adapt their business model for a move toward individually controlled funding.

The Australian Government wants to see improvements to disability care and support as quickly as possible.

That is why the Australian Government is committed to working in partnership with the states and territories, who have primary responsibility for disability services, in designing the launch of a scheme.

We will consult with state and territory governments and other experts to ensure we draw on their experience in running disability support services and long-term care and support schemes.

This design work will help inform the launch of an NDIS in select locations around the country.