DISABILITY SUPPORT: Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin at Ballina Council to announce Labor’s commitment to the support of disability care.
DISABILITY SUPPORT: Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin at Ballina Council to announce Labor’s commitment to the support of disability care. Patrick Gorbunovs

DAISI loves disability move

CARERS of children and adults with a disability, and local disability service providers, have lobbied hard for years for a national disability insurance scheme.

That's why Dona Graham, chief executive of regional disability information provider DAISI was "thrilled" with an announcement by Disability Reform Minister Jenny Macklin in Ballina yesterday.

Ms Macklin and Page MP Janelle Saffin announced that the North Coast would be the "next cab off the rank" to benefit from DisabilityCare Australia if Labor wins the election on September 7.

It would benefit more than 8700 people with a disability and 3400 carers.

Ms Graham said she was thrilled that local lobbying efforts had paid off.

"We have been rewarded with the announcement of the proposal to roll out DisabilityCare Australia to the Far North Coast from 2016," she said. "We would now call on the Opposition to match this commitment with bipartisan support."

The Nationals' candidate for Richmond, Matthew Fraser, could not be contacted yesterday, and candidate for Page, Kevin Hogan, has taken two days off the campaign after the death of a close family member.

However, NSW Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, condemned Ms Macklin for "playing poli- tics" by using the NDIS rollout to "win votes in marginal Labor electorates".

He said the announcement was made without any consultation with the State Government. But Ms Macklin said the Government prioritised the North Coast for the rollout of DisabilityCare Australia because of the high number of people living with a disability in this area.

"It still makes me shiver to think about the differ- ence that this program is making to people's lives," she said. "This is an area of great need. "We want to make sure that this is the next area where DisabilityCare starts."

Ms Saffin said the North Coast had a lot of passionate disability care services. She said that to support the rollout of DisabilityCare on the North Coast, a regional office will be established in Lismore. It would employ up to 70 staff members. "Across the North Coast local government areas, the expansion of the disability service sector could mean up to an extra 1700 skilled job opportunities for local workers," she said.

DISABILITY CARE SCHEME

Individual support plans to give people choice and control over what they need

Referrals to disability, mainstream and community services

Support with equipment

Personal support for daily living

Early intervention services



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