House debates

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Questions without Notice

DisabilityCare Australia

2:20 pm

Photo of Darren CheesemanDarren Cheeseman (Corangamite, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Minister for Disability Reform. How is the government building a better future for people with a disability and their families and carers, particularly with the launch of DisabilityCare Australia next week?

2:21 pm

Photo of Jenny MacklinJenny Macklin (Jagajaga, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Disability Reform) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Corangamite very much for that question. I thank him and the member for Corio for all the work they have done in supporting the launch of DisabilityCare Australia in Geelong. I have to say to the member for Corangamite and the member for Corio, as I have said many times, they have been fierce in their campaigning to get the headquarters for DisabilityCare Australia in Geelong and they have succeeded. It is a very exciting time for people with disability and their families and carers, as we see the start of DisabilityCare in Geelong, in the Barwon region, in the Hunter and, of course, for little children in South Australia and for young people in Tasmania from Monday. It is a very, very exciting time for people with disability.

As part of the launch we will see around 26,000 people with disability get the care and support that they need, the care and support that they have never had before. People will also be able to have choice and control over the care and support that they receive and, for the first time, will be part of developing their own personal care support plan. No longer will we see people with disability in these launch site areas having to wait, sometimes years and years, for a new wheelchair or wait at the end of a phone for a place in respite, which has had such a big impact on the lives of families and of carers.

We want to make sure that this time of waiting is over. There is a lot happening at the launch sites. People with disability are already ringing up making their appointments for next week. Providers of services to people with disability are making sure that they are registered. We have already had a lot of people go online with My Access Checker to see whether or not they will be eligible.

I particularly acknowledge the enormous campaign that has been run by so many people with disability and advocates over a very long period. The celebration that we will start on Monday is a celebration of their advocacy that will change the lives of people with disability and their carers forever.