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    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Local disability staff appointed for NDIS early launch

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Local disability staff appointed for NDIS early launch

    The launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in North Queensland has moved a step closer with the temporary appointment of 10 local area coordinators today.

    Minister for Disability Services and Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the appointments were a key milestone in the roll-out of the NDIS in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island from early next year.

    “Local area coordinators play a crucial role in linking people with disability to a range of different support networks and services, depending on individual needs and interests,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “Ten employees within the Queensland Government’s Disability Services department will be seconded to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) during the roll-out, ensuring the staff on the ground have local experience,” she said.

    “These local area coordinators will start engaging with participants and supporting them to develop their plans for transition to the NDIS.

    “This is a big job and incredibly important for the 1600 people with disability who will be the first Queenslanders to access the NDIS ahead of the full roll-out.”

    Newly-appointed local area coordinator Vanessa Stevenson said she was very excited to help support people with a disability transition to the NDIS.

    The mother-of-four, whose parents were born deaf, has worked in the disability sector for about 25 years, at government and non-government agencies, and is a qualified Auslan interpreter.

    “The NDIS will deliver more options for people with disability to receive support and more flexibility for them to receive that support,” Ms Stevenson said.

    “I am really looking forward to helping out with the transition and to getting an insider look at how the NDIS will benefit people with disability.”

    Plans are progressing in North Queensland to cater for the first NDIS participants in January 2016.

    The early launch of the NDIS will involve eligible young people with disability under 18 years in Townsville and Charters Towers, and all eligible people with disability on Palm Island.

    For more information about the NDIS visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the NDIS Hotline on 1800 800 110. For people with hearing or speech loss call TTY 1800 555 677.

    Media Contact:          Minister O’Rourke’s office                  3719 7184