NDIS now rolling out in the steel city

THE National Disability Insurance Scheme has now officially arrived in Whyalla, with the Eyre and Western region being one of five new areas to be added to the NDIS this week.

Also included in the Eyre and Western region are the local government areas of Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Cleve, Tumby Bay, Elliston, Wudinna, Kimba and several others.

The state government say the scheme will provide a much-needed jobs boost for South Australia, with 600 new jobs to be created in the disability sector. That includes between 250 and 350 new full-time jobs in the Eyre and Western region.

When asked how many jobs Whyalla may get out of the scheme last year, Member for Giles Eddie Hughes made a tentative estimate of 100. “I would not be surprised if there ends up being 100 additional jobs in Whyalla. We don’t want to see fly-in, fly-out operators, we want people who are part of our community and help people,” he said.

Disabilities Minister Katrine Hildyard described the NDIS as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ economic reform that will give Australians with a disability more choice and control of the services they require.

“Our state government has played a leading role in helping the South Australian community to be aware of and understand the NDIS and its benefits,” she said. The state government held a series of NDIS expos in different locations last year, including Whyalla.

During her visit to Whyalla in October Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent was critical of the NDIS, saying some aspects of the scheme were still unclear. “The lack of actual service provision on the ground in rural towns is a big issue. It’s all well and good for the NDIS to decide that you get money for physiotherapy, but if there are no physiotherapists in your area, how are you supposed to use that funding?” she said.

“There’s also issues around transport, both for the person with a disability to travel to that service provider.”