In an historic bilateral agreement between the State and Federal Governments last week, both parties signed off on a plan to rollout the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Queensland. Having been held hostage mostly by uncertainty on the scheme, people with disabilities and many service providers can now start planning.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk highlighted the positive aspect of the NDIS rollout. “It will also provide a massive boost to Queensland’s economy, injecting more than $4 billion every year and creating up to 13,000 jobs in a diverse and growing disability sector.”
Here is how the rollout will affect Queenslanders:
Year 1: July 2016 – June 2017
Piloting the rollout in main regional areas will pave the way for the rest of the State. Feedback from this initial rollout should provide for a structure to be followed by other regions. Areas affected in this first year include:
- Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa, and up to the gulf
- Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays
- Toowoomba and west to the borders
Year 2: July 2017 – June 2018
Other regional areas are getting a little reprieve and will need to get their house in order to be ready by July 2017.
- Ipswich, Lockyer, Scenic Rim and Somerset
- Rockhampton, Gladstone and west to the borders
Year 3: July 2018 – June 2019
The rest of Queensland to rollout last includes some regional but mostly South East Queensland areas.
- Logan and Redlands
- Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Tablelands, Croydon, Etheridge, Cape York and Torres Strait
- Brisbane suburbs north of Brisbane River
- Brisbane suburbs south of Brisbane River
- Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett and Cherbourg
- Gold Coast and Hinterland
- Moreton Bay including Strathpine and Caboolture
- Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie
What about Now – July 2016?
In the meantime, Queensland Disability Services will continue to honour their current support arrangements and deliver services as usual.
Signing off on the historic arrangement, Queensland Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke pointed out, “The NDIS is the biggest social reform in more than 40 years, doubling the number of Queenslanders currently accessing disability services.”
Bringing certainty to the people with disability, it allows now for planning by their families the many service providers and the business community.
Individuals should start looking at setting management plans and getting them approved by the NDIA. Whilst service providers have a big task in front of them. The big ticket items for review on top of the list appear to be workforce planning, upgrades of financial systems and case management processes. This will enable staff and client retention as well as efficient claims processing to minimise cashflow shortages.
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