The NDIS is kind of, nearly, almost here

NDIS logoIt’s been a busy few weeks for the NDIS in Queensland…

It was only a few months ago that people had no idea where or if there would be an “early launch” site for the NDIS.

We now have official word – that is, a joint state-commonwealth government statement – that the early launch site will be in North Queensland.

Here’s an edited blurb from the press release:

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will start making a difference in northern Queensland from early 2016, the Australian and Queensland Governments announced today.

Young people with a disability aged under 18 in Townsville and Charters Towers, and all eligible people with a disability on Palm Island will be the first Queenslanders to access the NDIS, six months ahead of the planned full roll out.

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said today marked an important step in Queensland’s preparations for the NDIS.

“Today, we are providing early transition to the NDIS, particularly for young people with a disability in Townsville and Charters Towers,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I am also very pleased that all eligible Palm Islanders with a disability will also receive early access to the NDIS from 2016.”


“Queenslanders with disability deserve to have access to all that the NDIS offers,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This early access means about 1600 people with disability in North Queensland will start seeing the benefits of the NDIS before the full roll out starts mid next year,” she said.


Early access will be available to people with disability who meet the eligibility requirements of the NDIS; it won’t just be for people who currently receive a disability support service through the Queensland Government.

The State Government contributed $1.6 million towards early access of the scheme in North Queensland, with the Commonwealth Government supplying $2.5 million.

A separate email update from from the Hon. Coralee O’Rourke MP, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors, and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland (say that five times!) sheds some more light:

The launch will allow around 1,600 participants to transition to the NDIS, with 600 of these receiving their funded packages from April 2016. The early launch will be available to those who meet the eligibility requirements; not just for people who currently receive a disability support service through the Queensland Government.

Let me be very clear, this is not a trial, it is an early launch of the scheme in Queensland.

Preparing for an early launch

We will progress through the following four stages:

  • from announcement – Queensland Government and National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planning and preparation
  • from October 2015 – sector and participant readiness activities
  • from January 2016 – participant planning with the NDIA
  • from April 2016 – participants receive supports through the NDIS.

Sure, with 1600 people it’s a very small limited roll-out, but it’s something you want to get right. So small is good.

Additionally, if you’re in Toowoomba, there are participant readiness workshops being held right now. Some of the events planned in Toowoomba in October include:

  • Finding My Place forum, which will share stories by and about people with disabilities who have taken their place in their community – October 10 at 9:30am at the Empire Theatre
  • Plan Ahead Toowoomba Workshop Part 1 & 2, for people with intellectual or learning disability – October 6 to 13 at 10am at Assert Services Toowoomba

For further information about all things NDIS go to

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