Disability care boost for Tassie

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 01 Juli 2013 | 19.55

Human Services Minister Cassy O'Connor, Premier Lara Giddings and Braddon MHR Sid Sidebottom at the DisabilityCare Australia launch in Devonport. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

The Federal Government has begun the roll-out of its national disability insurance scheme with the official launch of trial sites in Tasmania, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

DisabilityCare Australia has today opened for business in three locations in Tasmania -- Devonport, Launceston and Hobart.

Speaking in Devonport, Federal Labor MHR for Braddon Sid Sidebottom said it was a momentous achievement.

"Finally people with disability, their families and carers have the certainty they deserve," Mr Sidebottom said.

"From today, young people aged 15 to 24 who are accessing existing disability services will start moving into the scheme.

"DisabilityCare Australia has staff in the Devonport, Launceston and Hobart offices and they've have been in contact with these people through their current providers.

"Already they've made appointments with many of the people who are due to move into the scheme during July."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd travelled to NSW's Hunter region today to formally open a new office for DisabilityCare in Newcastle, where a three-year trial site will also operate.

"It's really a special time," Federal Disability Minister Jenny Macklin told ABC local radio.

"People with disability will be able to choose when they get care, the sort of care and support they receive."

In its initial stage, the scheme will cover only a few hundred people.

The program is set to expand across the nation in coming years toward a full roll-out by 2018/19.

"We're expecting to double the size of disability support and care across our country over that seven-year period," Ms Macklin said.

About $19.3 billion of federal money has been committed over seven years to roll out the scheme by 2018/19, after which the government will provide more funds and the states will put up the rest.

The scheme will be part funded by a rise in the universal Medicare levy to two per cent, from 1.5 per cent, from next year.

DisabilityCare covers Australians in the event of significant disability and will fund the long-term care and support to about 410,000 people aged under 65.

AAP


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