Peter Stacy with his son, Leigh. 

Photo Kerri Burns-Taylor / Warwick Daily News
Peter Stacy with his son, Leigh. Photo Kerri Burns-Taylor / Warwick Daily News Kerri Burns-Taylor

Biggest reform since Medicare rolls out in 48 hours

IN LESS than 48 hours, the National Disability Scheme will roll out in the Southern Downs, and parents, carers and recipients agree it could not come sooner.

Warwick and District Disability Support Group chairman Peter Stacy said, after 12 years of a 'badly broken system beyond beggars belief', the NDIS finally provided personalised support.

"Instead of the support being what support providers wanted to offer, it's about what people now want to receive,” he said.

"It's the opposite ends of the universe, and that's a good thing.”

A month ago, we caught up with Ann Mickan who was in the midst of filing paperwork and preparing for interviews to ensure her son Zachary would be able to achieve his goals under the NDIS.

She hoped her 26-year-old son could work towards living with a group of friends and reaching a more independent lifestyle.

"I had my phone interview with the NDIS representative and should hear back from them in the New Year,” he said.

"It took about two hours and I was glad I took the time to put some serious thought into what Zachary's needs were.”

Mr Stacy agreed the NDIS would help his 36-year-old son Leigh do what he "actually wanted” in life.

"He needs to be able to pay for and work towards his goals just like you,” Mr Stacy said.

"That includes transitioning from living on the farm, to developing friends, watching his favourite team's footy game, going to the Condi Club, going to the movies, going shopping, all those types of things on his own.”

However, while the NDIS spells good things for their families, both Mr Stacy and Mrs Mickan agreed results would not be instantaneous.

"It's going to be a waiting game while they get to everyone in our region, but in the meantime we will receive what we already are,” Mrs Mickan said.

"I would describe my mood as patient and positive.”

As for Mr Stacy, he said, while he was a strong supporter of the NDIS, he still had concerns over what would be scrapped and retained from the previous system; particularly that of taxi subsidies and mobility allowance.

"We live out of Warwick, so mobility is important for Leigh,” he said.

"If they suddenly decide the mobility allowance is not going to be paid, then how will he get away from home.

"Secondly, all people with a disability quality for a taxi subsidy; it means, they get half price taxi fares.

"Some have said when the NDIS starts, the taxi subsidy will cease. All people who require taxis, most people at Endeavour Warwick, would go without.

”It's a little difficult to say what will happen, until we actually see precisely what they do."

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