The Budget has revealed a $1 billion down-payment to kick start its much lauded National Disabilities Insurance Scheme.
Spread over four years, the money will be used to set up the first stage of the NDIS, which aims to provide lifelong care for the severely disabled.
Initially 10,000 people will be supported from July next year, and 20,000 from July 2014. But cities and towns to benefit first will not be announced until late this year until the rollout begins.
There are 400,000 Australians living with a disability and this scheme is set to help paraplegics, those afflicted with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, brain injuries and other permanent disabilities, no matter their circumstances.
$1 billion to launch the NDIS from July 2012
10,000 people will initially get support, doubling in 2013
Launch sites to be negotiated with states and territories.
More than $213 million will be used to train the first local area coordinators, who will work with people on funded support packages catered to their needs.
More than $342 million will be spent on that individualised support in the three years from next year.
Victorian MP Bill Shorten, who led the push for the scheme, said it would end the "second-class citizenship" for people with disabilities and their carers, who have suffered with inadequate support. "
This is the first step for at least 10,000 and 20,000 families who have ageing parents who have midnight anxiety about who is going to care for their adult child when they no longer can," he said.
"At last it will be possible for Australians to be able to make that promise to those ageing carers that your kids are going to be OK."
Each state and territory will kick in funds, and the Victorian Government has been positive about the changes.
A fully implemented scheme is tipped to cost about $8 billion a year.
The scheme is being rolled out a year earlier than had been proposed.