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NDIS opportunities showcased at state’s biggest conference

NDIS opportunities showcased at state’s biggest conference

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

NDIS opportunities showcased at state’s biggest conference

More than 700 people are expected to attend Queensland’s biggest disability services conference today to learn how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will create new opportunities across the state.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Queensland Disability Conference 2016, held simultaneously in Cairns, Maryborough and Toowoomba, was all about sharing information, creating new connections and encouraging innovation.

“This year’s theme ‘Opportunities in our backyard’ will explore opportunities that are specific and unique to Queensland – which has generated huge interest not only from the disability sector, but also the wider community,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“For the first time, the conference will be available to an online and radio audience, with many organisations joining as ‘partner hubs’ to live stream the conference to their clients and staff.

“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.

“The scheme will almost double the number of Queenslanders accessing supports and services to more than 90,000 by the end of the three-year rollout in 2019, and we want to make sure everyone is ready.

“The NDIS will not only improve the lives of people with disability, but also create up to 19,400 new jobs in the disability sector and entrepreneurial opportunities in the broader community,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“The complete shift in the way services are being delivered will mean people with disability will become a diverse and growing consumer group, opening up opportunities.

“Our Government is working closely with the sector to make sure we get the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and today’s conference is a valuable part of this process.”

More than 400 will attend the conference in Cairns, 190 in Toowoomba and 160 in Maryborough, with hundreds expected to join in online and via radio.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford welcomed the largest of the conference sessions to Cairns as a great opportunity for locals to find out more about the opportunities available in their own backyard.

“The focus of the conference will be relevant to local families, businesses and the community, so we can easily identify opportunities that will maximise the scheme here in the far north,” Mr Crawford said.

“Prior to the conference, around 130 local business leaders also gathered at an NDIS Business Breakfast to discuss the significant opportunities for business and the economy.”

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said regional conference participants in Toowoomba and Maryborough would not miss out on the opportunity to ask questions and speak with experts.

“We want to make sure people in Maryborough have the same opportunities as delegates in Cairns, and I am pleased to say the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will be attending each conference to answer questions,” Mr Saunders said

The areas of Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa and up to the Gulf are the first to access the NDIS as part of the full transition which started in July. These areas will be followed by Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays from November 2016, and Toowoomba January 2017.

For more information on the Queensland Disability Conference, visit www.qld.gov.au/qlddisabilityconference

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