CARERS are celebrating after the federal and state governments put weeks of wrangling over funding behind them and struck a deal for a Victoria trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Under the agreement, a trial of the insurance scheme will start from July 2013 in Geelong's Barwon region, extending additional care and services to about 5000 people with a disability.
The Victorian government will invest about $290 million of existing disability funding and another $17 million in additional contributions.
The Commonwealth will put $190 million towards individual support packages and fully funding the provision of services for the trial.
A $25 million Victorian offer to establish a transition agency for the disability insurance scheme in Geelong has not yet been accepted by the Commonwealth. It remains on the table, with both governments saying they will continue talks over a site for the body.
As part of the deal, the Commonwealth has agreed to cover any overrun costs of the trial.
Daryl Starkey, chief executive of Barwon-based disability services agency Karingal, said yesterday's deal was a big relief as there had been a possibility Victoria would miss out on a trial with four others agreed to already.
Geelong-based Joyce Schroeter, who helps care for her autistic grandson, James, said the trial meant extra help for her family. ''It is just excellent; it is so good, I am very excited about it,'' she said. ''The system hasn't been working at all, and this [the insurance scheme] is something we have all been working hard towards.''