Posted on 01 June 2017
Huge benefits for people with a disability and workers is what the National Disability Insurance Scheme is promising.
It will be rolled out in Gladstone in January next year.
Magenta Community Services has brought their organisation to Gladstone in preparation for the scheme.
General Manager Jonny Iuso said they had opened in Gladstone specifically because of the NDIS.
"It will have a major impact on all aspects of the economy but also the lives of people with disabilities and their families," she said.
"So because of our experience and our connections with the National Disability Insurance Agency, we were keen to facilitate... a program so that Gladstone is really ready for the NDIS and all the opportunity it brings."
Ms Iuso said her niece, Tiffany Smith, was the area manager for Gladstone.
She said her niece was "born and bred in Gladstone" which was a good thing for the community.
Magenta has established the Gladstone NDIS Readiness Group.
They are running a meeting on June 29 for interested community members, from 5.30-7.30pm at the Queens Hotel.
Ms Smith said they were worried a lot of businesses did not know about the opportunities through the NDIS, which was why they established the group.
The NDIS is a change of mentality for supporting people with a disability.
Ms Iuso said it was no longer a welfare model, organisations would not receive funding to help those with a disability.
"It's actually a business model, this is all around building capacity and investing money into people with disabilities and their families," she said.
"They own their packages, they then chose which business they're going to buy from. It's actually turning everything around, so the person with the disability is holding the purse strings."
The NDIS will not replace the Disability Support Pension, which provides income support through Centrelink to people aged 16 to 65 who are unable to work because of their disability.
Ms Iuso said the NDIS had been labelled as "the mining boom that's not going to go away" as there would not be any peaks or troughs.
"The workforce is going to increase two-fold," she said.
"We're in Toowoomba and it hasn't finished rolling out and there's already 1500 packages rolled out, and they're saying that employment has increased by more than 1000 jobs."
Magenta Community Services director Tony Iuso said there was an opportunity for Gladstone businesses to benefit from the scheme, they just had to "step up".