Minister for Disabilities Katrine Hildyard said the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was set to nearly double the number of people receiving services and support throughout the Eyre and Western region.
She was in Ceduna on Wednesday for the NDIS community information expo at the Ceduna Memorial Hall, which provided the opportunity for people with disabilities and their families to find out more about the NDIS, connect with service providers in the area and find out how they could access support.
The NDIS will start rolling in the Eyre and Western regions from January 1, 2018 and Ms Hildyard said it would benefit a larger number of people.
“The NDIS is the biggest social reform in Australia since Medicare,” she said.
“The NDIS is a once-in-a-generation social and economic reform that is delivering more support and choice for people with disability, plus their families and carers, throughout South Australia.
“In South Australia we anticipate almost doubling the number of people who will receive services and support and we anticipate 600 more people will have disability support in this region, to go up to 1100 people receiving support.”
The largest increase of participants by age will be in the 5-14 bracket, jumping from 105 to 350.
The NDIS will add an extra $30 million for services in the region, with about $24 million spent on services to assist with daily life, as well double the number of jobs in the industry.
The Eyre and Western disability sector workforce numbered about 150 people in 2013-14 and is expected to leap to about 350 people by 2019, with 6000 new jobs created in the sector across the state.
“It is a unique opportunity in a growing sector which will be here for a long time to come,” Ms Hildyard said.
“The expos also provide a great chance for people looking for work, or those considering a change of sectors, to see what jobs are available.
“Any disability worker would say they are rewarding jobs, to work closely with people.”
She said a variety of jobs would come out of the NDIS reform, from disability support worker positions to allied health jobs, planners and facilitators and administration staff.
Ms Hildyard said greater choice was the key change of the NDIS.
“The fundamental difference is for the first time people with disabilities and their families will be at the centre of decision making and support,” she said.
“They will have choice and control about what they can access – it is about what works for their lives.”
It is estimated that 32,000 people in the state will access services, with 9000 people receiving support from services for the first time.
The Ceduna expo was part of a series of more than 20 across the state, with further Eyre Peninsula expos at the Port Lincoln Leisure Centre on Tuesday, November 21 and at the Whyalla Leisure Centre on Wednesday, November 22.