Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Disability Services and Community Development
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is pleased to celebrate the contribution Tasmanians living with disability make to our community as part of todays’ annual International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPD).
This year’s theme, “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”, recognises the unique experiences of people with disability during the global pandemic, and I acknowledge the extensive work of the disability and community service sector in working through the challenges of COVID-19.
Equity and inclusion are the heart of everything we do and this is demonstrated in our new nation-leading needs-based education funding model for disability, which supports up to 2000 additional students.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is also creating more opportunities for Tasmanians living with disability to be involved in our community, and of the 9,602 active participants currently in the scheme in Tasmania, what I am most pleased about is that 5,059 participants have received funding for the first time and over 50 percent of all participants are receiving reasonable and necessary supports for the first time.
It is also positive that people with disability continued to enter the NDIS, even during the height of the pandemic – 2,595 people entered the scheme in Tasmania during 2019-20, with a further 532 people entering in the first quarter of 2020-21.
Now that the scheme is at full rollout, a full review and rewrite of the Tasmanian Disability Services Act 2011 will provide the opportunity to consider harmonising Tasmania’s legislative requirements and definitions with the NDIS, working with and through the recently established Ministerial Disability Consultative Group (MDCG).
I encourage all Tasmanians to take the opportunity to celebrate stories of community inclusion as well as acknowledge the important contribution of Tasmanians living with disability and also the people who support them, in enriching our community.
As part of continuing our work on Accessible Island 2018-2021, we are rebuilding a stronger Tasmania that is more inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19, and I am very confident that together – all levels of Government, community groups and the broader society – we will continue working together to increase support for the rights and wellbeing of people living with disability.