Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Next steps for DisabilityCare Australia in New South Wales

Joint Media Release with:

    New South Wales Minister for Disability Services

A clear pathway for participants to access DisabilityCare Australia in the Hunter launch area was announced today by the Australian and New South Wales Governments.

Speaking at an event to celebrate the formal signing of this agreement at the House with No Steps in Newcastle, Commonwealth Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin and New South Wales Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance said the agreement between the two governments is an important step towards the launch of DisabilityCare Australia on 1 July this year.

The first stage of the launch in New South Wales will cover the local government areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland and is expected to benefit around10,000 people with disability, their families and carers.

People will move gradually into the scheme from 1 July 2013, by Local Government Area across the three years of launch.

People currently using existing disability supports in the Newcastle local government area will access DisabilityCare Australia from 2013-14, while those in Lake Macquarie will start to access the scheme over 2013-14 and 201516. Existing clients living in Maitland will start accessing the scheme in 2015-16.

People with significant and permanent disability from all three local government areas who are not currently accessing specialist disability supports will be able to access DisabilityCare Australia at any time over the launch period.

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

“This agreement ensures that participants receive the support they require both during the transition and into the future, through a gradual introduction to DisabilityCare.”

“Importantly, the support people receive through the current system will stay in place until they have been assessed and their individual plans and support allocation confirmed.” Mr Constance said.

“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 in the Hunter region.”

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have also agreed how existing disability programs will move into DisabilityCare Australia. Work will commence with disability service providers in the launch site to transition current funding arrangements. This will ensure continuity of service for people accessing current supports, and viability for current provider operations throughout the transition.

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 July this year in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania. The scheme will launch from July 2014 in the Australian Capital Territory and the Barkly region of the Northern Territory.

The Australian Government has delivered $1 billion to launch DisabilityCare Australia in locations across the country from July this year. The NSW Government is contributing $550 million for disability services in the Hunter launch area over the three years, and an additional $35 million for new supports over four years.

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have also reached agreement to the full roll out DisabilityCare Australia across New South Wales. This means that all eligible people with disability in New South Wales – more than 140,000 people, their families and carers – will be supported by DisabilityCare Australia by July 2018.

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 New South Wales 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: