People with a disability and organizations which provide support services met in Queanbeyan today to hear details of the second five year phase of Stronger Together, the NSW Government's initiative to expand disability services.
The government announced in December that it had committed an extra $2 billion to the initiative, taking the total since the program began in 2006 to more than $5.5 billion.
The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said that this was the largest investment in disability services in NSW's history and the most significant investment made by any state Government in Australia.
"The investment for the area covering the 13 local government areas including the whole of Monaro is estimated to be $116 million over the course of the 10 year Stronger Together initiative," Mr Primrose said.
Member for Monaro, Steve Whan, said as a result of this extra money, the number of places available under the various programs will increase by 2,400 - this will almost triple the size of the service system.
"This is great news for people with a disability, their family and carers in the region," Mr Whan said.
Mr Primrose said that the strategy for the second phase of the program had, to a very large degree, resulted from suggestions that came from 15 consultation sessions the government held around the State in the middle of last year.
"Now we are going back to those audiences to outline to them what we have included in the next phase of Stronger Together.
"The people told us what they wanted and we have responded to their suggestions and we now want to hear their comments on what we are proposing."
Mr Primrose said that families of people with a disability and representatives of peak organizations and organizations which provided disability services would make up the bulk of the audiences.
"They are the people who are at the heart of the disability sector and they deserve to have first hand knowledge of what we are proposing."
"While what we have already achieved already is extremely pleasing, we want to seek comment from the people who provide the services and those who use them, to see how we can further improve Stronger Together."
Mr Primrose said that a key feature of the second phase would be the person centered approach that was being applied to the funding and provision of services.
"In future, people with a disability, their families and carers will be at the center of decision-making and will be able to make their own life choices about the disability services that will best suit them, rather than fitting into the type of service ADHC delivers."
Stronger Together, which provides a new direction for disability services in NSW, was launched in 2006 to make life better for people of all ages with a disability and those who care for them. In its first four years Stronger Together met or exceeded all its targets.
Mr Primrose said that as an example before Stronger Together, some 44,610 places were available to people with a disability, but at the end of the first phase, more than 29,000 extra places will have been delivered, substantially above the commitment of 18,100 places.
Today's meeting is the third of 14 such briefing sessions the NSW Government will hold around the State over the coming few weeks. About 100 people attended the briefing at the Queanbeyan City Council's R.B. Smith Room.
The Southern Highlands Local Planning Area encompasses 13 Local Government Areas - Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Bombala, Snowy River, Cooma-Monaro, Greater Queanbeyan, Yass Valley, Palerang, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Young, Boorowa and Harden.
Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.
Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.