Official opening of Hobart DisabilityCare Australia office
The Hobart office of DisabilityCare Australia was officially opened today by Commonwealth Minister for Community Services and local Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins.
“The historic launch of DisabilityCare Australia means that young people with significant and permanent disability here in Hobart will, for the first time, have the power to choose the support they need and how that support is provided,” Ms Collins said.
“This is a landmark achievement for Australia, finally giving people with disability, their families and carers the certainty they deserve.”
“This week DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, has opened for business in three locations in Tasmania – Devonport, Launceston and Hobart.
“DisabilityCare Australia has staff here in Hobart and young people aged 15 to 24 years who are accessing existing disability services have started moving into the scheme.
“DisabilityCare Australia is making contact with these people through their current providers and has already made appointments with many of the people who are due to move into the scheme during July.
“Young people with disability who are leaving school or have expressed a need for individual support or community access package, and those who are transitioning from formal out-of-home care, will be among the first to move into the scheme.
DisabilityCare Australia will provide a comprehensive information and referral service to help people with a disability access mainstream, disability and community supports.
People with significant and permanent disability who are not accessing specialist disability supports can contact the scheme at any time.
The My Access Checker tool is available online to help people work out whether they can access the scheme and staff members at local shopfronts are ready to guide people through the process.
“By July 2016, about 1000 young people across Tasmania will have a plan of support that is tailored to their individual needs and preferences, and can be adapted over their lifetime,” Ms Collins said.
“From this week’s beginnings, we will work towards the full roll-out of the scheme to all eligible Tasmanians, so that by July 2019, about 11,000 Tasmanians with disability will be part of the scheme.”
“A total of 460,000 Australians with disability will get support when the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019.
More than 26,000 young people across the four launch sites will benefit from the first stage of the scheme – in addition to Tasmania, the launch sites are in the Hunter area in New South Wales; Geelong and the Barwon area in Victoria; and in South Australia for children.
“This is fundamental reform that will give Australians peace of mind and the support they need over their lifetime if they, their child or a loved one has a significant and permanent disability,” Ms Collins said.
“The 2013-14 Federal Budget provided $14.3 billion over seven years to 2018-19 to roll out DisabilityCare Australia nationally, on top of existing Commonwealth disability funding.
“Importantly, the scheme has long-term funding certainty through an increase to the Medicare Levy of 0.5 percentage points-every cent will go towards funding DisabilityCare.”
For more information about DisabilityCare Australia, call 1800 800 110 or go to www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au.