FLYING FREE: The NDIS will help people with a disability live life to the full.
FLYING FREE: The NDIS will help people with a disability live life to the full. SrdjanPav

800 new jobs coming with NDIS to Bundaberg

THERE'S an economic explosion just around the corner for Bundaberg and it's happening in an unlikely industry.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is to create a jobs boom for Bundaberg with government figures projecting a massive investment from the $50 million spent on the disability sector now to $150 million by June next year.

The NDIS workforce is estimated to employ about 400-450 workers which will triple to almost 1250 as the NDIS is rolled out across the region.

THE Bundaberg NDIS Community Preparedness Group is made up of local community service providers, the Primary Health Network, Bundaberg and Districts Chamber of Commerce, and local business consultants whose aim is to increase awareness of the scheme's potential in the region.

"If we are to capitalise on the projected $100 million boost to the local economy, we have to get the word out to the entire community," chairman Damien Tracey said.

"The NDIS represents an enormous opportunity for the local business community."

But it is the participants of the scheme who are set to reap the most. The National Disability Insurance Agency estimates 1500 residents rely on the NDIS now, which will increase to 3300 people by June next year.

"According to the NDIA's market position statement there are potentially 1800 people with disability

living in our community

for whom the state system does not currently provide funded support," Mr Tracey said.

"This lack of support can limit people's ability to access education, employment, health care, recreation and sport - the very things most people take for granted," he said.

To help businesses better understand the NDIS and what it could mean for them, a breakfast will be held by Bundaberg and District Chamber of Commerce next month.

Chamber president Yale Morgan said the breakfast was a great opportunity for businesses to learn about the scheme via a joint presentation from local, state and federal government representatives.

"From the point of view of businesses, they've got a whole new opportunity to market into and we need to capitalise on it," Mr Morgan said.

"In terms of national spending, the NDIS will be second only to Medicare."

Across the state, the scheme could create up to 36,000 newdisability sector jobs, according to the State Government.

Once the NDIS rollout is complete, it will inject about $4 billion into the state economy each year.

But a Productivity Commission review announced by the Federal Government on Friday has the state fearing the scheme could be watered down.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke said: "Once fully rolled out in mid-2019, the NDIS will support more than 90,000 Queenslanders with disability and create up to 19,000 new jobs in the state's disability sector."

"The NDIS is a vital reform for people with disability, giving them the choice and control to live the life they choose, and that is something that can't be taken away from the thousands of Queenslanders who will enter the scheme." Disability Services Minister Coralee O'Rourke said.

"It's simply not good enough and I have written to (federal) Social Services Minister Christian Porter to stress that the true intent of the NDIS cannot compromised."

The Chamber breakfast will be held on February 14 at The Waves.

To book, visit www.bundabergchamber. com.au.



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