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DisabilityCare Australia opens its doors in South Australia



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DisabilityCare Australia Opens Its Doors In South Australia

01 July 2013 Joint Media Release with:

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Senator Anne McEwen Senator for South Australia

Children with significant and permanent disability in South Australia will for the first time have the power to choose the support they need and how that support is provided, with today’s historic launch of DisabilityCare Australia.

DisabilityCare Australia offices opened for the first time today in St Mary’s and Elizabeth.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth attended community celebrations across the state to mark the launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme.

“This is a momentous achievement for Australia, finally giving people with disability, their families and carers the certainty they deserve,” Ms Rishworth said.

“DisabilityCare Australia has staff in the St Mary’s and Elizabeth offices and from today parents of newborns to five-year-olds who are accessing existing disability services will start moving into the scheme.

“Those who are not accessing specialist disability supports can contact the scheme at any time- the online My Access Checker tool is available to help determine whether they can access the scheme, and staff members at the St Mary’s and Elizabeth shopfronts are ready to assist people through the process.

“By July 2014, access to the scheme will be extended to children aged up to 13 years, and by July 2015 to children aged 14 years, to benefit about 5,000 children with disability, their families and carers across our state.

“We will then start working towards the full roll-out of the scheme to all eligible South Australians, so that by July 2018, about 33,000 South Australians with disability will be part of the scheme.”

Senator Anne McEwen officially opened the St Mary’s DisabilityCare Australia office this morning and said that the excitement was palpable.

“DisabilityCare Australia will fundamentally transform the way we support people with disability, their families and their carers. It is truly wonderful to see the first of many South Australians benefit from this historic reform at the St Mary’s office this morning,” Ms McEwen said.

Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that more than 26, 000 people across the four launch sites- the Hunter area in New South Wales, Geelong and the Barwon area in Victoria, in South Australia for children and in Tasmania for young people- will benefit from the first stage of the scheme, which will be gradually implemented to ensure we establish a sustainable national scheme and that people can transition into the scheme smoothly.

“DisabilityCare Australia will give Australians the peace of mind that if they, their child or a loved one has a significant and permanent disability, they will get the support they need, when they need it, over their lifetime,” Ms Macklin said.

“DisabilityCare Australia’s Local Area Coordinators will work one-on-one with people with disability to link them into their communities, and DisabilityCare will provide a comprehensive information and referral service to help people with a disability access mainstream, disability and community supports.

“When the full scheme is rolled out nationally by July 2019, about 460,000 Australians with disability will get the support they deserve.

“The 2013-14 Federal Budget provided $14.3 billion over seven years to 2018-19 to roll out DisabilityCare Australia nationally, on top of existing Commonwealth disability funding.

“And the scheme has long-term funding certainty through an increase to the Medicare Levy of 0.5 percentage points—every cent of which will go towards funding DisabilityCare.”

For more information about DisabilityCare Australia, call 1800 800 110 or go to www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au

High resolution images, and video and audio grabs from Minister Macklin and people with disability from each launch site are available at our online newsroom at: www.disabilitycareaustralia.gov.au/news