Falling through the cracks is an NDIS focus by: Student Journalist

Falling through the cracks is an NDIS focus


Getting on the grid team. Photo from NDIS 

Paul Gabbert Project Officer for the Getting on the Grid project explains the benefit of the project. Audio by Michael Harris

With the National Disability Insurance Scheme set to roll out on the Gold Coast mid next year the Queensland Disability network has launched a new program to track down those Queenslanders who may have fallen through the cracks.

The program is known as The Getting on the Grid Project.

Currently in Queensland there are some 45,000 registered people with either a mental or physical disability who receive some sort of Government assistance.

Under the NDIS Scheme this is set to double with an estimated 90,000 people who qualify for assistance. Many of these people will receiving support for the first time and so the race is on to find as many of these people as possible and get them registered for the program.

This is no easy task as Paul Gabbert, Project Officer for Getting on the Grid Project explains,

“The project started on in March 20I7. We leverage off other government networks in order to find the people eligible for the project and then to get them the information they need to access the scheme” Paul said.

There are also a few obstacles to be overcome as well. Suspicion of Centerlink itself has been high amongst the people already contacted to who are able to participate in the scheme.

“Certainly many of the people we have come across have a great distrust for Centerlink” Paul said.

“Unfortunately people make the connection between NDIS and the disability support pension but Centerlink do hold a lot of useful information for us but at the end of the day they aren’t involved in the roll out.” Paul said.

Getting out amongst the community to hold community forums is one of the key ways to get the message out but they are also available to help out on an individual basis.

“We hold barbeques at community centre’s to get the message out, we are also visiting caravan parks and other places we know these people are likely to be.” Paul said.

If the Getting on the Grid Project is able to support you or your organisation please contact them on 1300 363 783 or email onthegrid@qdn.org.au