I am incredibly pleased to update Left members about what we are doing as a Labor Government to improve the lives of Queenslanders – whether it is those with disability, seniors or North Queenslanders.
It is a really exciting time for people with disability, with the early launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) now underway in North Queensland – delivering on one of our key election commitments.
I’m so proud to be the Minister overseeing the transition to this great Labor initiative in Queensland.
The scheme will be the biggest social reform since the Whitlam Labor Government introduced Medicare around 40 years ago, and goes to the core of Labor values of equality and fairness.
Fundamentally, the NDIS will support people with disability to live the lives they choose, to chase their dreams with appropriate support, and not be bound by what others perceive they can achieve.
By full implementation in July 2019, it is expected to support around 90,000 Queenslanders – doubling the number of people currently accessing services
This means that for the first time in their lives, around 45,000 Queenslanders with disability will have access to the supports they need.
The NDIS has revolutionised the disability sector and has given us an opportunity to build a future where people with disability are not judged by their inabilities, but by their abilities and their characters. To support this, we need to ensure our communities are inclusive.
We are one step closer to making Queensland a more inclusive community to everyone, after receiving more than 9,000 responses to a public survey, which asked Queenslanders to suggest ways to welcome and support seniors in the community.
The survey highlighted many key issues, such as access to transport, employment and information technology, to help inform our new seniors strategy – ‘Queensland: an age-friendly community’.
An age-friendly community encourages people of all ages to take part in community activities. It is a place where people are treated with respect, regardless of age or ability; where they can stay in touch with the people they care about and find appropriate support services that meet their needs.
I look forward to updating you on the progress of this strategy, and encourage you to adopt the ‘age-friendly’ mantra in your own communities.
By the Hon. Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland