The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) now has a permanent home in Townsville, with the doors of its new office on Stanley Street officially open.
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Regional Manager Queensland North, Des Lee, said the Townsville office would play a vital role in supporting North Queenslanders to access the NDIS.
"Participants will be able to come in and meet with us face-to-face during the planning and plan review process and there will be capacity for members of the community to come in and talk to us about any general enquiries they may have," Mr Lee said.
"In addition to service delivery, we'll also run our provider and participant engagement activity and corporate services out of the new office to support the NDIS rollout across the Queensland North region.
"The new office is on the ground floor and has been specifically renovated to ensure it is fully accessible."
The Townsville office will house approximately 80 NDIA staff and will provide support to NDIS service centres across the Queensland North region in Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Mt Isa and Cairns.
By July 2019, it is expected the NDIS will support about 18,000 people with disability across the Queensland North region, injecting up to $840 million into the local economy and creating an additional 3150 full time equivalent jobs in the region.
The NDIS is a new way of providing support for people with disability, their families and carers in Australia. The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.
The NDIS commenced in North Queensland in early 2016 and is now available to all eligible people in Mackay, Isaac, Whitsundays, Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa, and up to the Gulf.
From 1 November, the NDIS will become available to Queensland Government disability clients in Rockhampton, Gladstone and west to the borders. All other eligible people in that region will begin to enter the NDIS from January 2018.
The NDIS will become available to eligible people living in Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Tablelands, Croydon, Etheridge, Cape York and Torres Strait from July 2018.
The Townsville NDIS office is located on the ground floor at 235 Stanley Street and is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.