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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 jobs for North Qld as first families get NDIS funding

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

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    New jobs for North Qld as first families get NDIS funding

    Hundreds of jobs are set to flow into Townsville and North Queensland, with the first Queensland families starting to receive funding and services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    Disability Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke met with one of the families today at Kith and Kin’s Townsville office to celebrate the NDIS’s biggest milestone in Queensland to date.

    “Today is a momentous day for Queensland, and in particular for the north,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “A number of people with disability in North Queensland are now receiving packages under the NDIS, which will extend to a further 1600 people in the early launch areas. 

    “The NDIS is also expected to create up to 660 disability sector jobs in the broader Townsville region, which is great news at a time when we need jobs more than ever.

    “We’ll also see flow on benefits and growth to the region in the wider business sector in areas such as transport and tourism.”

    Mrs O’Rourke said the early launch would help prepare Queensland for the full NDIS roll-out which will start in July this year. 

    Townsville mother Deborah Dooley, a member of the first family to benefit from the NDIS in Queensland, said the scheme would make all the difference to her eight-year-old son Keegan who has autism.

    “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that Keegan will get the support he needs and we are thrilled to be one of the first families to benefit from the scheme,” Ms Dooley said.

    “It’s been such a quick and easy process for us, as I had clear goals on what we wanted to achieve for Keegan, and I can’t get over how fast the plan has been developed, approved and put in place. This is thanks to the great planners and staff involved.

    “I also love the freedom of choosing who provides these services.

    “All I want is for Keegan to develop social skills and improve his speech so he can participate in and learn at school and be part of the community - things that are easy for other children and often taken for granted.”

    The event was also attended by families who featured in a video entitled ‘What the NDIS means to me: North Queensland’, part of a series of videos designed to help Queenslanders transition to the NDIS.

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

    For information on the NDIS visit www.ndis.gov.au or call the NDIA 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