Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

DisabilityCare Australia to further boost employment in Geelong

Joint Media Release with:

    Minister for Corio

    Member for Corangamite

The Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin today visited Geelong to announce that about 120 people are now expected to be employed in the Barwon region as part of the launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, which will start from the middle of this year.

Ms Macklin joined local Labor members Richard Marles and Darren Cheeseman at MacKillop Family Services in Geelong today to meet children with disability and their families who will benefit from the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia.

Ms Macklin said preparations for the launch of DisabilityCare in the Barwon region were well underway, with local staff being recruited to deliver the scheme.

“About 5000 people with disability in the Barwon region will benefit from the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia, and we know there is a lot of work to do to get the scheme up and running from July.

“The construction of the regional office in Geelong has already begun, and we are busy recruiting local staff to work with local people with disability, their families and carers.

“While there will be a gradual transition to the scheme in the Barwon region, we want people to start benefitting as soon as possible, so we’re hiring extra staff to make sure this happens.

“We expect there will be about 120 people employed as staff or contractors for DisabilityCare Australia in the Barwon region this year.”

Member for Corio, Richard Marles said some staff had already been employed to start preparing for the launch.

“We are working closely with local people with disability, local service providers and the whole community to make sure there is a smooth transition to DisabilityCare Australia and that it meets the needs of local people,” Mr Marles said.

“Our local coordinators, service planners and support staff will all have very important roles to play in making sure people with disability can develop an individualised plan and access the care and support they need.

“And we are putting a strong focus on hiring people with a lived experience of disability – including people with disability as well as local carers.”

Member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman said the Gillard Government was investing $1 billion to deliver the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia across five launch sites, including in the Barwon region.

“DisabilityCare Australia will transform the way support is provided for people with disability, their families and carers, here in Geelong and across our region,” Mr Cheeseman said.

“We’ve seen today some of the great work that MacKillop Family Services does in delivering critical support for local children with disability.

“DisabilityCare Australia will give peace of mind to local parents like those we’ve met today, who just want to make sure their kids are getting every chance at a long, happy and independent life.”

Ms Macklin said the Gillard Government had shown its commitment to a full national roll out of DisabilityCare Australia with its agreement with the New South Wales Government.

“We reached an agreement with Premier O’Farrell last year for a full roll out of DisabilityCare Australia across New South Wales by the middle of 2018,” Ms Macklin said.

“We need to see that same commitment from the Victorian Liberal Government.

“I am confident the Victorian Government will make disability a priority and I am ready to sit down with Premier Napthine so we can work through the details of delivering the full scheme in Victoria.”