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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 52

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Mr WOOD (La Trobe) (14:42): My question is to the Minister for Families and Social Services. Will the minister update the House on how the government's plan to keep our economy strong is guaranteeing the rollout of the NDIS nationally and delivering vital services for Australians, including in my home state of Victoria? Is the minister aware of any alternative ideas?

Mr FLETCHER (BradfieldMinister for Families and Social Services) (14:43): I do thank the member for his question because he's had a strong passion for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. I'm pleased to report that the National Disability Insurance Scheme has now commenced rollout across 70 per cent of Victoria, with the scheme starting in southern Melbourne from last week. The date 1 September was a significant milestone. The National Disability Insurance Scheme has now commenced rollout in 11 of the 16 areas of Victoria that are scheduled to enter the scheme by 2020. More than 42,000 Victorians are currently accessing the scheme, including more than 8,000 people who are receiving support for the first time.

The NDIS is an initiative of the utmost importance. Once fully implemented, it's expected to support some 105,000 with disability in Victoria, and across Australia more than 180,000 Australians are now being supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Delivering this groundbreaking reform to improve outcomes for Australians with a significant and permanent disability will inevitably involve challenges with a rollout of this scale. The important thing is to identify and respond to issues quickly and efficiently as they arise to ensure the sustainable management of the scheme into the future. Thanks to the Morrison government's management of the economy, thanks to the fact that we have a strong economy, we are able to fund and support this vital social reform.

We are determined to make sure that Australian families, pensioners and those in need get the support they need when they need it. We need to ensure that our social welfare system is sustainable. The vital service that the National Disability Insurance Scheme will provide to hundreds of thousands of Australians will also provide economic benefits to communities around the country. For example, in southern Melbourne, the National Disability Insurance Scheme is estimated to create more than 2,250 jobs locally and up to 42,000 jobs in disability services in Victoria. The consequence of that is that, over the coming years, an additional $350 million will be injected into the local economy in the southern Melbourne region and $2.5 billion into the Victorian economy.

The reality is that a service delivery project of this size has never before been undertaken anywhere in the world. It is a large, complex and ambitious rollout. It has bipartisan support. I'm pleased to be continuing the good work of my predecessor ministers on both sides of the House to continue the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.