Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine today opened the new National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) interim head office in Geelong.
Dr Napthine and Mr Abbott were joined by Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield and Victorian Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge.
The Victorian Government announced that $25 million will be allocated in the upcoming Victorian State Budget to support the establishment of the national NDIA office in the Barwon region.
“This is a wonderful day, not just for people with disability, their families and carers nationally, but also for Geelong,” Dr Napthine said.
“More than 100 jobs are expected to be created in the national office of the NDIA by the end of 2014.
“And around 450 jobs will be created by the combined national NDIA office and the Barwon NDIA office by the time the scheme is fully implemented from July 2016.”
Ms Wooldridge said Victoria is a policy leader in disability services and continues to lead Australia in the delivery of disability services and reform.
“The opening of the NDIA headquarters today is another step towards our commitment to the NDIS, which is expected to support more than 100,000 eligible Victorians by 2019,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“The Coalition Government has long been a champion for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).”
The Victorian Coalition was the first major political party to back an NDIS, and on coming to Government committed to the scheme and lead its development and design at a national level.
“We have consistently advocated for a better deal for people with disability, their families and their carers,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos, Liberal Candidate for Geelong Paula Kontelj and Liberal Candidate for Bellarine Ron Nelson attended the launch and welcomed the announcement.
“This agency will provide a great boost for the region – increase job opportunities and ensure that Victoria can contribute its knowledge and experience in disability policy at a national level,” Mr Katos said.
The NDIA is the independent statutory agency of the Commonwealth Government, established in 2013, to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Its role includes holding the funds contributed by the Commonwealth, State and Territories in a single pool, managing scheme funds, administering access to the scheme and approving the payment of individual support packages.
The upcoming 2014-15 Victorian State Budget will include $190 million over four years to increase supports for 658 people with disability and fund the NDIA headquarters.