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

    New safeguards introduced to protect Queenslanders with disability

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

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    New safeguards introduced to protect Queenslanders with disability

    Legislative changes have been made to ensure Queenslanders with disability are protected by the State Government’s quality and safeguard system under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Disability Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, passed in Parliament today, would improve the functioning of the current quality and safeguard systems, by closing gaps identified during a review.

    “The NDIS will revolutionise the way disability support services are offered and will bring greater choice and control over how people with disability receive them,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “Queensland has some of the most robust quality and safeguard requirements in the country, to ensure the safety of people with disability,” she said.

    “Under the previous legislation, the quality and safeguard framework only applied to Queensland Government funded service providers. This means under the NDIS, people with disability who purchase supports directly from non-government organisations would not be covered.

    “It was essential that we redefine the scope of the act now, to ensure Queensland’s robust quality and safeguards system continues to support all people with disability as we transition to the NDIS.”

    Minister O’Rourke said the critical amendments were passed in Parliament prior to families in the NDIS early launch site in North Queensland starting their packages in April, and would be reviewed during the transition.

    “To ensure all eligible Queenslanders benefit under the NDIS, it is important that we continually review our legislation to make sure that it is working in the best possible way,” she said. 

    Members of the Disability Services Partnership Forum, which includes peak industry bodies, disability service providers and advocacy groups, were consulted on the drafting of the Bill.

    “Our Government is committed to working with service providers and the broader disability community to ensure the diverse needs of people with disability are met,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    Minister O’Rourke said Queensland had moved a step closer to finalising their NDIS agreement with the Federal Government, with the Premier signing and sending an agreement to the Prime Minister today.

    “We need the Federal Government to sign our NDIS agreement as soon as possible to give Queenslanders the certainty they deserve,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “If the Federal Government doesn’t sign Queensland’s NDIS agreement, they could delay the opportunity for more than 90,000 people with disability to live the lives they choose and the creation of around 13,000 jobs in Queensland,” she said.

    “I urge Malcom Turnbull to sign Queensland’s agreement, and give people with disability, their families and the community the certainty they deserve.”

    For more information on the rollout of the NDIS in Queensland, visit www.qld.qov.au/ndis

     

    Media Contact:                      Minister O’Rourke’s office                              0408 317 992