ACT to reap economic benefits of NDIS, report finds

ACT to reap economic benefits of NDIS, report finds

The National Disability Insurance Scheme will create an "employment boom" in the ACT and add up to $367 million to the local economy, a report has found.

The report is based on modelling by Dr Brendan Long, a senior research fellow at Charles Sturt University and director of consulting firm Agape Economics, and was commissioned by National Disability Services, Australia's peak body for non-government disability service organisations, and the NDIS campaign body Every Australian Counts.

It found the NDIS in the ACT will support up to 800 people with a disability to find work, support about 660 carers to return to the workforce, create an "employment boom" of more than 1100 jobs, create extra jobs in the disability service sector and add up to $367 million to the territory's gross state product.

"What it does do is show that there are great opportunities for people with disabilities here for their carers but also for the broader community," Glenn Keys, Canberra Business Chamber chairman and NDIA board member, said.

"That's always been the goal for the NDIS. This report is showing how that choice and control can flow into a number of areas, such as employment and jobs."


The NDIA is tasked with implementing the NDIS.

In terms of investment, Mr Keys said the report would prove useful for anybody looking at how they might decide to invest in Canberra with the NDIS rollout.

The report notes the NDIS will lead to increased labour supply in the ACT, but cautioned against assuming an automatic increase in employment.

"While an increase in labour supply does not automatically lead to increased employment, especially in the case of employment for people with disability, the modelling indicates the potential gains to the ACT that may flow from increased labour force participation of people with disability and carers," its authors write.

"National economic benefits from the implementation of the NDIS will also have flow on benefits for the ACT as the multiplier effects of increased employment will flow across the nation."

The report also modelled direct employment gains from the NDIS in specific industries. It forecasts, in a conservative estimate, an extra 22 jobs in accommodation and food services, a number that jumps to 45 when the impact of new carers is included.

Under the modelling, construction jobs would go from 24 to 76.

Minister for disability Chris Bourke said in a statement the NDIS would bring about "unprecedented government investment" in disability services.

"But more importantly, and as this report shows, it will also enable greater economic participation by people with disability and their carers in Canberra.

"The NDIS will create employment not only for people with disabilities and their carers, but also flow-on effects from this employment growth with benefits across the whole Canberra economy, and particularly the small business sector.

"The NDIS is a great reform delivering control and choice for people with disability and their carers, but also economic benefits for the whole community."

The modelling is based on an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey of more than 75,000 people with disability and their carers.

Alexandra Back is a reporter with The Canberra Times

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