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Senate supports Greens motion calling on Government to ensure funding for state disability advocacy services

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Australian Greens have deep concerns regarding the NSW Government’s decision to cut funding for disability advocacy from July 2018.

“Unfortunately in some instances the NDIS is being seen by States as an “out” and they are cutting services that are needed for people with disability transitioning to the NDIS and for people with disability who will not get access to the Scheme. We must have continuity of services. No one should be left worse off because of the NDIS. The rush to wind back services is adding to pressure on the NDIS and I have had many people raise with me concerns about services in states, particularly NSW, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"I'm particularly concerned about the loss of advocacy funding which has significant consequences for people with disability.

“I am pleased that the Senate has supported our motion. We cannot have some people worse off because of the NDIS. The Federal Government needs to work with the NSW Government and other state governments to ensure that funding for disability advocacy is not reduced at the state level, Senator Steele-John said.

“The NDIS has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of people living with a disability and their families however it should not be seen as a silver bullet.

“Advocacy organisations play a vital role in ensuring that the voices of people living with a disability are heard and acted on.”

 The motion reads:

 That the Senate –

  1. notes that the NSW Government will be cutting funding for disability advocacy from July 2018 and that this will affect the Council for Intellectual Disability and other disability organisations;
  2. acknowledges:
    1. the importance of advocacy for the inclusion of people with disability and their full participation in our communities,
    2. the Don’t Silence Us campaign being run by the Council for Intellectual Disability calling on the Premier of NSW to guarantee on-going funding for the Council for Intellectual Disability, and
    3. the Stand by Me campaign being run by the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance calling on the NSW Government to stand by them and provide the necessary funding for them to be able to continue serving people with disability in NSW after July next year; and
  3. calls on the Federal Government to work with the NSW Government and other state governments to ensure that funding for disability advocacy is not reduced at the state level.

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Senator Rachel Siewert - Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services

Senator Jordon Steele-John - Australian Greens spokesperson on Disability

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Media Contacts:

Senator Siewert - Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180

Senator Steele-John - Tim Oliver 0448 316 387

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