Media Release by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Update for Locals on DisabilityCare Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Steve Georganas MP
    Federal Member for Hindmarsh

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth and Federal Member for Hindmarsh Steve Georganas today joined local people with disability, their families and carers as well as local service providers at a community forum in Fulham on DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme.

DisabilityCare Australia opened its doors on 1 July meaning Australianswith significant and permanent disability in four launch sites around the country are starting to get the support they need and have the power to choose how that support is provided, including young children in South Australia.

Mr Georganas said the community forum provided an important opportunity for local people to learn more about this essential reform and its progress, as well as to have their questions answered.

“DisabilityCare Australia involves 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.

“It gives Australians 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 people can transition into the scheme smoothly.

“DisabilityCare Australia has staff in the St Mary’s and Elizabeth offices and parents of newborns to five-year-olds who are accessing existing disability services are starting to move into the scheme.

“Those who are not accessing specialist disability supports can contact the scheme at any time- the online My Access Checker tool is available to help determine whether they can access the scheme, and staff members at the St Mary’s and Elizabeth shopfronts are available to assist people through the process.

“By July 2014, access to the scheme will be extended to children aged up to 13 years, and by July 2015 to children aged 14 years, to benefit about 5,000 children with disability, their families and carers across our state.

“We will then start working towards the full roll-out of the scheme to all eligible South Australians, so that by July 2018, about 33,000 South Australians with disability will be part of the scheme.

“When the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019, about 460,000 Australians with disability, their families and carers will get the support they need and deserve.”

In the 2013-14 Federal Budget the Federal Labor Government made the responsible decision to fully fund DisabilityCare Australia into the long term, providing people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers with the certainty that they deserve.