NDIS in spotlight

A DROP-IN from Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka has raised pros and cons about the National Disability Insurance Scheme's expansion in the Hunter.

Mr Ajaka visited Lake Macquarie last Wednesday to meet clients to whom the scheme became available on July 1.

There are about 2000 people living with a disability in the area who are expected to transition to the scheme during the next year.

Mr Ajaka said the federal government was committed to giving these people more choice and control over their care.

"I am pleased we are moving onto the second phase of the trial because it means we are getting on with the job of delivering better services to our most vulnerable," he said.

Nicholas Gleeson, who spoke on behalf of one of the scheme's partners Ability Links, said the rollout should be sped up, not slowed down.

"From all reports I've heard it's definitely helping people to have greater access to services and improve their lives," he said.

But some people are worried about the scheme, which was rolled out 12 months ago at four trial sites, including the Hunter.

More than 1000 people have signed a petition highlighting concerns, which include the speed of the scheme's expansion and the Stockton Centre's closure.

The Public Service Association has organised a community rally in Newcastle today, Wednesday, July 23, from noon-1pm, at 670 Hunter Street.

Organiser Paul James said Mr Ajaka's visit to Lake Macquarie was welcome but the minister had done little to address people's concerns.

Mr James said Mr Ajaka's inaction could lead to a workforce crisis that threatened the scheme in NSW.


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