Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Launching a National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Hunter

Joint Media Release with:

  • ANDREW CONSTANCE MP, New South Wales Minister for Disability Services

People with significant and profound disabilities in the Hunter region of NSW are set to benefit from a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) next year, after the Australian and NSW Governments today reached an agreement on arrangements for the Hunter launch site.

From next year about 10,000 people with significant and profound disabilities, their families and carers in the Hunter will have their needs assessed and will start to receive individual care and support packages.

Under an NDIS people with disability in the Hunter region will:

  • be assessed to receive individualised care and support packages;
  • have decision-making power about their care and support, including choice of service provider;
  • be assisted by local coordinators to help manage and deliver their support; and
  • access a system they can easily navigate and that will link them to mainstream and community services.

The Australian and NSW Governments will work together to provide people with disability, their families and carers with the care and support they need, when they need it.

This work will include developing a consistent approach to assessing people’s needs; and working with service providers to build the capacity of the disability care workforce in the Hunter region.

The NSW launch is in addition to launches agreed at the Council of Australian Governments meeting last week with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

The Hunter launch site will ensure there is a proper test of the individualised support arrangements and the process of transition to the new system.

The NSW funding contribution brings it in line with the contribution of the other launch jurisdictions.

The NSW Government will contribute $35 million in new support, in addition to the $550 million already provided for disability services in the Hunter region.

The Australian Government will invest more than $300 million in better services for people with disability in the Hunter, including:

  • $244 million towards individual support packages; and
  • $61.8 million for local area co-ordinators who will assist people with disability to plan and access their care and support packages.

The Australian Government will also fund the operation of the NDIS Launch Transition Agency to operate the launch.

The Australian Government’s contribution to the Hunter launch is consistent with its announcement in May this year to provide $1 billion towards NDIS launch sites, including covering 100 per cent of costs for local area co-ordinators in launch sites.

The Australian Government has agreed to meet the total of any cost overrun associated with average package cost or higher than expected client numbers in launch sites.

The first stage of an NDIS will begin in mid-2013 and will provide care and support to thousands of people with significant and permanent disabilities in locations across the country.

The Australian Government sought expressions of interest from all states and territories to participate in this first stage.

For more information contact 1800 800 110 or visit