Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

DisabilityCare Australia opens its doors

Australians with significant and permanent disability will for the first time have the power to choose the support they need and how that support is provided, with today’s historic launch of DisabilityCare Australia.

DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, today opens for business in four launch sites across the country – 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.

This is a momentous achievement for Australia, finally giving people with disability, their families and carers the certainty they deserve.

DisabilityCare Australia will give 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.

More than 26,000 people with disability, their families and carers will benefit from the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia, which will be gradually implemented to ensure we establish a sustainable national scheme and that people can transition into the scheme smoothly.

DisabilityCare Australia has staff and offices in each of the launch sites, and from today, people in launch sites who are accessing specialist disability services will start moving into the scheme.

DisabilityCare Australia has started getting in 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.

People with significant and permanent disability in launch sites 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 DisabilityCare, and staff members at the local shopfronts are ready to assist people through the process.

DisabilityCare Australia will enable people with disability to choose supports that best meet their individual needs and preferences.

DisabilityCare Australia’s Local Area Coordinators will work one-on-one with people with disability to link them into their communities, and DisabilityCare will provide a comprehensive information and referral service to help people with disability access mainstream, disability and community supports.

When the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019, about 460,000 Australians with disability will get the support they deserve.

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.

DisabilityCare Australia has long-term funding certainty through an increase to the Medicare Levy of 0.5 percentage points-every cent of which will go towards funding DisabilityCare.

DisabilityCare Australia will launch across the Australian Capital Territory and the Barkly region in the Northern Territory in 2014.

For more information about DisabilityCare Australia, call 1800 800 110 or go to

High resolution images, and video and audio grabs from Minister Macklin and people with disability from each launch site are available at: