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

    Wanted: up to 19,400 new workers for Qld NDIS rollout

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

    Friday, July 01, 2016

    Wanted: up to 19,400 new workers for Qld NDIS rollout

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has officially started in Queensland today, signalling the beginning of a new era in disability services and huge opportunity for new workers to join the sector.

    Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said North Queenslanders would be the first to have access to the NDIS from today.

    “I am excited to welcome the start of the NDIS rollout in Queensland today, following the early launch of the scheme in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island in January this year,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “The NDIS is the biggest social reform in more than 40 years, giving people with disability the power to decide how they receive their supports and to live the life they choose,” she said.

    “The scheme will almost double the number of Queenslanders accessing support and services to more than 90,000 people by the end of the three-year rollout in 2019.

    “Today is a historic day for Queenslanders, and it has become a reality because the Australian Labor party had a vision to build a brighter future for people with disability.

    "We have an NDIS because of a commitment made by the previous Federal Labor Government.

    "Bill Shorten started the work as Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Services in 2007 and that has led us to where we are today."

    Minister O’Rourke said the increase in demand for disability services would generate unprecedented growth in the sector and the Queensland economy.

    “The NDIS will be injecting around $4 billion per year into Queensland’s economy by the time the rollout is complete in mid-2019,” she said.

    “The complete shift in the way services are being delivered will mean people with disability become a diverse and growing consumer group, opening up opportunities for everything from support workers to yoga instructors and tour guides.

    “If you’re leaving school or TAFE, or looking for a career change, now is the right time to consider a career in the disability sector, where you can make a real difference every day.

    “The NDIS is expected to create between 15,900 and 19,400 additional jobs for Queenslanders in the state’s disability sector alone. Many of these jobs will be in regional areas where unemployment rates are higher, including between 800 and 950 jobs in the broader Townsville and Mount Isa regions.

    “There will also be great entrepreneurial opportunities for people to start up new businesses or branch out existing businesses to meet the growing demands. So far we have seen ballet schools for children with disability and respite camping adventures – the possibilities are absolutely endless.

    In Townsville today, Minister O’Rourke also launched the NDIS Workforce Action Plan for North Queensland, developed by the local WorkAbility Queensland network.

    National Disability Services (NDS) State Manager Richard Nelson said WorkAbility Queensland - a unique partnership between the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the non-government sector, would support the supply and capacity of the NDIS workforce, bringing together people from organisations and the community.

    “It’s about people with disability, employers, training organisations, employment services, universities and government agencies coming together to respond to the challenge of a significant and rapid growth in jobs in the disability sector,” Mr Nelson said.

    “The North Queensland NDIS Workforce Plan sets priorities for action. It is important communities have their own local workforce plan for the disability sector, designed by them and for them.”

    The areas of Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa and up to the Gulf will be the first to access the NDIS as part of the full transition.

    These areas will be followed by Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays from November 2016.

    For information on the NDIS rollout visit or call the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

    For information about a career in the disability sector visit:

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