Speech by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Opening of NDIA Local Area Co-ordination office Toowoomba


I will start by adding my acknowledgment of the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, and pay my respects to their elders – past and present.

Thank you for inviting me to the opening of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Local Area Co-Ordination office here in Toowoomba.

The Local Area Coordinator Partners will make up an integral part of the NDIS, comprising 70 per cent of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) workforce at full roll out.

They will work with participants and their families throughout the planning process to develop their NDIS plans, all the way through to helping them implement their plans and connecting with service providers.

In this role, the connections to local communities is invaluable, as it means that they are able to identify opportunities and useful services for participants or be able to suggest other avenues through which participants are able to achieve their goals.

Local Area Coordinator Partners will work with local communities to help make services more accessible and inclusive and provide information and linkages services for individuals who are not eligible to become NDIS participants.

This will help them in connecting with services from which they can access support.

Carers Queensland is one of the NDIA’s main Local Area Coordinator Partners in Queensland, alongside Feros Care.

The NDIA is also working with a number of other Partners in Queensland, including the Indigenous Wellness Centre for Local Area Coordinator services, and BushKids and UnitingCare Community for Early Childhood Early Intervention Services (ECEI).

Together, these services are able to contribute with their knowledge of the local environment, as well as their experience working with people with disability over the years.

There are over 5,000 participants already benefiting from the NDIS in Queensland, including more than 1,500 in the Toowoomba region, and another 70,000 already benefiting across Australia.

This will only increase as the NDIS is progressively rolled out across Queensland and across the nation, until all of Australia is covered in 2020.

At full scheme, the NDIS is expected to support more than 450,000 participants to live an ordinary life.

There are over 1,000 NDIS registered providers in Queensland. These give participants a range of providers through which they can exercise choice and control, and choose the services that suit their individual needs.

This number can only be expected to grow as the NDIS rolls out, and demand for services increase. This creates new business opportunities for businesses that provide services to people with disability, and more choice and control for participants.

While the NDIS has had some challenges, the Scheme as a whole continues to be a great success. Participant satisfaction remains high, with 93 per cent of participants satisfied or very satisfied with their plan since the scheme began rolling out.

I look forward to seeing the NDIA and Carers Queensland work together with community and providers to continue to make the roll out a success in the Toowoomba region, and to make a difference to the lives of participants, their friends and families, and the broader community.