Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Newcastle gets ready for the NDIS

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson, today visited local disability service provider, ConnectAbility Australia, to discuss how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will deliver extra jobs and services to Newcastle.

The NDIS will begin in the Hunter area from the middle of this year.

Ms Macklin said preparation for an NDIS in the Hunter was well underway, with the NDIS Launch Transition Agency on the ground and recruiting staff.

“The Agency will work at the local level so that people with disability, their families and carers work with staff who understand the local community supports and services.

“The Agency will have a regional office in Newcastle and by the middle of the year we expect there will be around 65 people employed as staff or contractors in this regional office,” Ms Macklin said.

This will include:

  • Qualified planners who will work with people to develop their individual support statement;
  • Local Area Coordinators who will help people with disability participate in their community; and access their other support needs through the NDIS;
  • Financial managers, technical staff and administrators.

The Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson, said the NDIS represented an entirely new approach to the way disability supports are accessed for people in the Hunter area.

“The NDIS will involve major changes in the way we work with people with disability, their families, carers and service providers, and we want to make sure we get this reform right, step by step, so we can build a system that is sustainable over time,” Ms Grierson said.

“It is wonderful to see firsthand the work of organisations as dedicated to the cause of supporting people with disability as ConnectAbility Australia.

“It’s also great to meet families and hear about how excited they are about what the NDIS will mean for them and their children,” Ms Grierson said.

The Australian Government has invested $1 billion towards the five NDIS launch sites across Australia