The State Government will establish up to four new disability services to support Indigenous Queenslanders living in North and Far North Queensland communities.

Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said the new services will enable people with a disability to live in their own communities with local care and support.

“The State Government will provide $1.96 million in annual funding to run the services and tenders are now being sought from local organisations,” he said.

“We are looking for locally driven and culturally appropriate services in communities where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want to live independently.

“For example, this might involve working with a family member to help their relative with a disability live at home, or using the skills of a local person who could work as a carer supporting a number of people with a disability in suitable government housing.

“Projects will be developed, managed, led and governed by local non-government organisations in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

Mr Pitt said the new initiative would expand disability services from regional centres to remote Indigenous communities, while supporting local employment opportunities.

“We’re seeking bids from organisations to provide services which focus on volunteers and family members, helping people to develop skills that may eventually lead to employment,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is about changing the lives of people with a disability as well as providing opportunities for community participation.”

The tender is seeking projects to:

  • deliver accommodation support
  • reconnect communities to promote family and personal well-being
  • provide whole-of-life planning and mentoring support and
  • support safe and welcoming communities.

Mr Pitt said around 650 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders aged up to 65 in the state’s North and Far North identify as having a disability.

“This represents almost 20 per cent of the local Indigenous population, or more than twice the rate of all Queenslanders,” he said.

“We also know that people with a disability in remote communities face extra disadvantage in accessing services because of their remote location.That’s why these new services are so crucial.”

Mr Pitt said the tender is open to interested organisations until 9 April 2012. For more information visit