The McGowan Government must clarify its position on funding individual disability advocacy services under the NDIS after state disability services minister Stephen Dawson left the government’s position in doubt following a live radio exchange yesterday with Australian Greens disability services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John.
Senator Steele-John said the McGowan government had made it an election promise to continue funding both individual and systemic advocacy in WA, yet 9 months later there was still uncertainty over the sector.
“During his answer to my question Minister Dawson suggested that funding for Individualized advocacy would be left to the commonwealth, and that the government would announce its position on the funding of systemic advocacy following a review in the New Year.
“This appears to be exactly the same approach to the sector as has been taken by the Berejiklian Liberal Government in New South Wales, which is threatening a significant percentage of advocacy organisations with potential closure.
“At the very moment when people with disabilities need these advocacy services to help navigate the new system, the sector in NSW has been thrown into crisis.
“Now, advocacy groups in WA are facing similar funding uncertainty which is causing major brain drain as experienced people threaten to look for work elsewhere, putting further pressure on the system as we move forwards with the NDIS.
“It would be foolhardy in the extreme for the McGowan government to risk the development of the same situation in WA and I urge them to clarify their position and provide certainty to both the sector and the community by guaranteeing the continuation of funding for advocacy services.”
Tim Oliver - 0448 316 387