Great day for Tasmanians with disability Wed 25 July 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Cassy O'Connor Minister for Human Services Young Tasmanians with disability will soon receive greater support, with the announcement that the State will be one of the launch sites for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Premier, Lara Giddings, and the Minister for Human Services, Cassy O'Connor, today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to base one of the NDIS launch sites in Tasmania. "This is a landmark moment for Tasmanians with a disability, their families and the organisations that work so hard to support them," Ms Giddings said. "The Gillard Government's decision to base a launch site in Tasmania, and to progress the NDIS nationally, will give Tasmanians with disability more control over their lives, more support and more certainty. "However, it's important to note that this is the first step only - there is still a lot of work to be done with the Commonwealth and States and Territories in terms of the final funding model for the implementation of the full scheme." Ms O'Connor said the launch would see support provided to nearly 1000 Tasmanians living with a disability aged between 15 and 24 - including both current and potential disability service clients. "Support for this age group is essential, as they're at a critical point in their lives where they're likely to leave secondary education to move on to further education, vocational training or employment," she said. "By targeting this age bracket, we are helping them make that transition or, alternatively, receive the supports they need to keep them engaged in their communities." Ms Giddings said Tasmania was this year spending a record $142 million on disability services, with a further $33 million from the Australian Government. "Last financial year, we funded quality support for more than 6,300 Tasmanians living with disability. "Our involvement as an NDIS launch site will see us contribute up to $2 million a year in addition to our projected budgeted spend of $17.9 million on individualised supports on care and support packages for people aged between 15 and 24 as part of the agreement. "Under the agreement, Tasmania will also receive a portion of the additional funds committed by the Commonwealth to the NDIS. "Discussions around the detail of the NDIS launch in Tasmania from 1 July next year are ongoing and there is plenty of work to be done between now and the start-up date to ensure a smooth transition for clients and service providers." Ms O'Connor, said that the announcement of the NDIS recognised the substantial reform the Tasmanian Government had already undertaken. "Over the past four years, we have worked with people with a disability and the community sector to reform how services are delivered," she said. "This collaborative approach has helped modernise services and provide a greater level of support and flexibility, and the decision to base one of the NDIS trial sites here in Tasmania is recognition of this work to empower and better support Tasmanians with disability. "I believe the whole sector can take pride in their role in helping secure Tasmania's place as a trial site for the NDIS." "We have long recognised that there has been a considerable level of unmet need in the support available to Tasmanians living with a disability, and this announcement will ensure we are able to help more people get the support they need and deserve."