Countdown to a new era for people with disability


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By NSW Minister for Disability Services and Minister for Ageing John Ajaka

With Premier Baird away this week, it my great honour to again write the weekly column. This week, I wanted to focus on something that started as a distant dream for people with disability and their families long ago, but is now tantalisingly close to reality.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across half of NSW in just under 100 days time. From 1 July 2016, people living in Hunter New England, Southern NSW, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains will be able to access the NDIS.

Make no mistake, the NDIS is an ambitious reform that will change thousands of people’s lives for the better. It will give people with disability real choice and control over their own lives. They will be empowered to live life their way.

Everyone will share in the benefits of the NDIS. The Scheme will trigger a jobs and economic boom in NSW, with the biggest winner being Western Sydney.

The National Disability Insurance Agency’s NSW Market Position Statement estimates the NDIS will create close to 30,000 new jobs, support an extra 64,000 people with disability and double the disability services market to more than $6.8 billion a year.

Put simply, the NDIS means more money, more people getting support, more jobs and more growth.

Importantly, many of the people who will access the NDIS come from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. The NSW Government is determined to ensure everyone, regardless for their background, gets the information and support they need to transition smoothly to the NDIS.

For example, my Department has been running extremely valuable and information NDIS master classes specially designed for the Chinese-speaking community in Sydney to help people with disability and their families understand and best prepare for the NDIS.

People can rest assured that the NDIS is on time and on budget in NSW. Our trial and early rollout sites in the Hunter and the Nepean Blue Mountains are already making a real difference to the lives of people with disability and their families.

As 1 July 2016 fast approaches, the NSW Government, together with our trusted and experienced partners in the non-government sector, will continue to work hard to ensure the transition to the NDIS goes as smoothly as possible.

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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