Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt
    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Wheelchair Day highlights benefits of a National Injury Insurance Scheme

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

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

    Tuesday, March 01, 2016

    Wheelchair Day highlights benefits of a National Injury Insurance Scheme

    International Wheelchair Day is a time when wheelchair users celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives.

    It’s also a poignant reminder of the critical need for Queensland to introduce a new insurance scheme for Queenslanders catastrophically injured in road crashes.

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt said there are tens of millions of people around the world unable to acquire the wheelchairs they need, including Queensland.

    “An average of three Queenslanders a week sustain a catastrophic injury, like spinal cord injuries, and require assistance in their everyday life,” Mr Pitt said.

    “Tragically, about half of all people who sustain catastrophic injuries on Queensland’s roads are not covered by compulsory third party (CTP) insurance because they were found to be at fault or no one was at fault for the crash.

    “The physical, emotional and financial strains on an individual and their family can be utterly devastating and we know a new insurance scheme is needed that will cover the ongoing care of Queenslanders in this circumstance.

    “Under the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), drivers who are not covered by CTP will have greater certainty that their reasonable and necessary care and support needs will be met across their lifetime.”

    Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the NIIS would complement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by providing lifetime care and support for people with catastrophic injuries.

    “On International Wheelchair Day I think it’s important to remember that a person’s care needs change over time and as technology advances, a wheelchair that suits an individual now may not meet their needs in 10 or 20 years’ time,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “Together, the NDIS and NIIS will provide greater certainty for people with disability and their families that their reasonable care and support needs will be met over their lifetime,” she said.

    “This is about providing peace of mind for every Queenslander who has, or might acquire, a serious disability.”

    Australian Paralympic Swimmer Marayke Jonkers said the scheme will help individuals cope with the significant emotional and financial costs of living with life-changing injuries as a result of a road crash.

    “You may think needing to use a wheelchair is terrible, but needing one and not being able to afford it is far worse,” Ms Jonkers said.

    “The right wheelchair gives you independence and access to the community.

    “For individuals not covered by CTP, the National Injury Insurance Scheme will help them achieve their personal goals and get back into the community.”

    An all-party parliamentary committee is currently examining the most suitable model for implementing the National Injury Insurance Scheme and is due to report back in late March.

    For more information about the National Injury Insurance Scheme proposed for Queensland, visit qld.gov.au/niis or call 1300 302 568.

     

    Media Contact: 0419 945 546