Monday, 24 June 2013
Questions without Notice
I thank the senator for her question. In just one week DisabilityCare Australia launches around our country. In one week a new future will begin in Tasmania for young people aged between 15 and 24, in South Australia for children aged between nought and 14 and in the Barwon area of Victoria and the Hunter area of New South Wales for people up to the age of 65. From 1 July 2014, DisabilityCare Australia will commence across the ACT and in the Barkley region of the Northern Territory. Rollout of the full scheme in these states and territories, as well as in Queensland, will commence progressively from July 2016. That will mean that 90 per cent of Australians will be covered under the agreements we have made with the states and territories, but we also want to see Western Australia step up to the plate and make sure that no-one is left behind.
Last week the government appointed a longstanding champion of disability reform in Australia, Mr Bruce Bonyhady AM, as the inaugural chair of the board of DisabilityCare Australia. The board will set the strategic direction of DisabilityCare Australia and play an important role in safeguarding its financial sustainability, including by commissioning and then considering actuarial advice in its decision making. The board members, appointed by the government, have extensive experience in the disability sector, in insurance matters, in financial management and in corporate governance. These appointments have been endorsed by all states and territories. Next Monday, 1 July, marks the culmination of years of effort by government, the disability services sector, advocacy groups and most importantly people with disability and their families and carers. (Time expired)
The government is committed to boosting the economy and ensuring that all Australians have the opportunity to participate in employment. In Geelong alone the establishment of DisabilityCare Australia headquarters will create about 300 jobs. This is in addition to the 120 jobs already announced for the agency's Geelong regional office, which will open on 1 July.
The government is continuing to build workforce capacity through the $122.6 million sector development fund. The fund will help National Disability Services provide business support and training to local organisations to ensure Australian businesses thrive. And at a national level we have secured a strong and sustainable funding stream for disability care with an increase to the Medicare levy.
Yesterday, Minister Macklin announced more than $500,000 in funding to the National Disability and Carer Alliance to run a series— (Time expired)
The Gillard Labor government has been working hard to deliver DisabilityCare Australia since we received the Productivity Commission's report in August 2011. Following extensive consultation, we have developed a scheme that asks what a person needs to reach their full potential. It is not one which determines eligibility based on the type of disability the person has or how or where they acquired it. When DisabilityCare starts on 1 July, services and supports will be planned around the person's individual needs. This will include, for example, funding for home modifications like hoists and handrails, or for a formal carer to support families in their caring role.
Local area coordinators are already on the ground, and from 1 July will help people with disability and their families and carers get the support that they need from the community. They will work with other services, like their schools or employment services, to get the very best outcomes. (Time expired)