Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Disabilitycare Australia to be rolled out in The Northern Territory

Joint Media Release with:

  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard

    Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Graham Giles

The Gillard Government and the Northern Territory Government have reached an historic agreement today that will see DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, rolled out across the Northern Territory by July 2019.

The agreement will provide around 7,000 Northern Territory residents with significant or profound disability choice and control over the care and support they receive.

DisabilityCare Australia will also give all Northern Territory residents peace of mind that if they have or acquire a disability, or have a child with disability, that leaves them needing daily care and support, that they will get the support they need when they need it.

The agreements reached with states and territories to date mean around 90 per cent of Australians will be covered by DisabilityCare Australia in the event they are born with or acquire a disability.

This builds on the agreement to launch in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory from 1 July 2014 which will provide valuable lessons on how DisabilityCare will operate in remote areas of Australia. Other eligible people with disability in the Northern Territory will start entering the scheme from July 2016 and we will progressively roll out DisabilityCare Australia across the Northern Territory so that by July 2019, all eligible Northern Territory residents are covered.

Under the agreement reached today:

  • By 2019-20, the Northern Territory Government will provide around $99 million to cover all people in the Northern Territory. This contribution was determined using the benchmark set by New South Wales in the agreement reached with the Commonwealth in December 2012. The Northern Territory Government’s contribution will go to the cost of care and support for people with disability.
  • By 2019-20, the Australian Government will contribute around $105 million to the scheme for Northern Territory residents. This will be around 51 per cent of scheme costs. In addition, the Commonwealth will cover the full cost of people who turn 65 and choose to remain in the scheme.
  • The full scheme costs will be reviewed by the Productivity Commission before the commencement of full scheme to inform COAG agreement on final scheme funding arrangements.

Following the announcement last week by the Prime Minister, the Gillard Government has confirmed that, in 2019-20, an amount of $10 million will be allocated to the Northern Territory from the increase in the Medicare Levy, to assist with the cost of the scheme in the Northern Territory.

The Gillard Government has also reached agreement for the full scheme roll out of DisabilityCare Australia with the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

The NDIS is the reform of a generation and has the potential to transform the lives of people in the Northern Territory with disability, their families and carers.

The Gillard Government will continue to work towards the national roll out of DisabilityCare Australia, so that all Australians can know that if they have, or acquire, a disability they will have their needs met in a way that enables them to live with choice and dignity.