[singlepic id=337 w=320 h=240 float=left]A working party established by Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt meets for the first time today to discuss the Federal Government’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Minister Pitt said it is of national importance that the long-term needs of people with a disability, their families and carers are met with the right supports at the right time.

“Ageing carers in particular need to know that when they are gone, someone somewhere, will be able to look after their son or daughter with a disability,” Mr Pitt said.

“It’s an historic opportunity to bring about real change for people with a disability and their carers in Queensland.”

“We need to get our response right so that when we put our case to Canberra, we can be confident of striking the best deal for Queenslanders. The working party will play a key role in getting the best outcome for the state,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the Disability Council of Queensland would form the core of the working party, which would also include CEOs from organisations such as the Cerebral Palsy League, The Endeavour Foundation, the Spinal Injuries Association of Queensland and Carers Queensland.

The first meeting of the working party coincides with a National Disability Service forum being held today at the Belmont Bowls Club in Carindale.

[singlepic id=336 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Chatsworth Steve Kilburn is encouraging the local community to attend the forum.

“It’s an opportunity to hear more about the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme and for people to have their say,” Mr Kilburn said.

“Our local views could well help shape the future of these proposed reforms, so it’s important that our local voices are heard,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the Bligh Government takes disability services seriously which is reflected in a record budget of more than $1 billion for specialist services this financial year.

“We’re doing everything we can to improve the quality of life for thousands of Queenslanders,” he said.

“Disability can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and the federal government’s proposed reforms have real potential to revolutionise the supports available for people with a disability, their families and carers.

“The proposed reforms encourage greater choices and more control over the way in which services are funded and delivered for people with a disability and their families and carers.

“It’s all out on the table, including a Medicare-style scheme for people with a significant disability and other supports for people injured as a result of car accidents,” he said.

The Minister is encouraging Queenslanders to send in a written submission on the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme by emailing: disability-support@pc.gov.au by 30 April 2011.

Media Inquiries – Minister’s Office 3237 9867