National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was initiated by the Australian Government for Australians with disability, including people with intellectual, physical, sensory and psycho-social disabilities. It creates a managed market for disability services in Australia. The NDIS is established by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. The NDIS commenced being rolled out nationally on 1 July 2016.


During the 1970s, care of people with a disability in Australia shifted from institutionalisation to being cared for in the community. In 1974, Gough Whitlam proposed a national disability insurance scheme like the scheme offered in New Zealand. Academic Donna McDonald suggests it was Treasurer Bill Hayden who convinced Whitlam to focus on the introduction of Medicare instead. In 2005, the NSW government created the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme to cover ongoing care for people who had been severely injured in motor accidents.




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