Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Next steps for DisabilityCare Australia in Victoria

Joint Media Release with:

  • Mary Wooldridge MP
    Victorian Minister for Disability Services and Reform

A crucial step towards the Victorian launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, has been taken, with the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments agreeing arrangements for how people with disability will access the scheme in the Barwon launch site.

Commonwealth Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin and Victorian Minister for Disability Services and Reform, Mary Wooldridge said the arrangements provide clarity for existing users of disability supports and providers on the timeframe for the transfer to the national scheme.

From July 2013, the first stage of the scheme in the Barwon area will commence for residents living in the local government areas (LGAs) of City of Greater Geelong, the Colac-Otway Shire, the Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast Shire. By July 2016, all Barwon area residents with significant and permanent disability-around 5,000 people-will have access to the scheme.

Participants in the Barwon launch site will include many people who are currently receiving support funded by Disability Services, Early Childhood Intervention Services, Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Services and some Home and Community Care Services.

In the first year more than 4,000 people will be able to access the scheme and all existing state and Commonwealth participants will be able to transition into the scheme by September 2014.

There is a gradual intake to ensure that people with disability are properly supported and receive the right services for their individual needs.

The arrangements also provide detail on how funding for disability service providers will move into the scheme and how existing quality and safeguards will be maintained after participants and services transition to DisabilityCare Australia.

Commonwealth Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin said the agreement marked a significant step towards the launch of DisabilityCare Australia.

“DisabilityCare Australia will give people with disability choice and control over the care and support they receive,” Ms Macklin said.

“This agreement acknowledges that a step by step introduction of DisabilityCare Australia is needed so that people with disability, their families and carers get the support they need in moving across to the new scheme.”

Ms Wooldridge said people with disability, their families and carers, along with service providers, will welcome the agreement.

“This is a significant milestone, because people with disability, their families, carers and service providers now have the vital information they need to prepare for the launch of DisabilityCare Australia in the Barwon area,” Ms Wooldridge said.

From July 2013, people will be able to contact DisabilityCare Australia directly or use the My Access Checker tool (available on the website from June 2013) to help inform their access to the scheme.

DisabilityCare Australia will also launch from 1 July this year in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. The scheme will launch from July 2014 in the Australian Capital Territory and in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory. The Australian Government is providing $1 billion towards the DisabilityCare Australia launch.

The Australian and Victorian Governments have also reached agreement for the full roll out DisabilityCare Australia across Victoria. This means that all eligible people with disability in Victoria – more than 100,000 people, their families and carers – will be supported by DisabilityCare Australia by July 2019.

For more information about DisabilityCare Australia, the rollout of the scheme from 1 July 2013 and specific information for service providers:

To stay up-to-date with the rollout of the scheme, visit and click ‘sign up now’.

To view the arrangements in the Victorian and Commonwealth Government Bilateral Agreement, visit

To view fact sheets on how people with disability and providers will be supported in the transition to DisabilityCare Australia, visit: