As people with a disability mark the 25th anniversary of the commencement of the Disability Discrimination Act the NSW Government continues to threaten funding cuts to disability advocacy services.
Come July this year, around 50 disability advocacy services, information providers and peak representational organisations will lose their NSW Government funding.
The Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams continues to use the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme as a smokescreen to withdraw NSW Government support to these advocacy agencies.
The Keating Government’s Disability Discrimination Act was the first national legislation to make discrimination on the basis of disability unlawful. This historic legislation built on the hard won rights of people with a disability and was the genesis of future reforms such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Labor’s Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services Kate Washington has repeated Labor’s calls for the Government to continue this advocacy funding so that the vital work of these organisations can continue.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley has committed to maintain this vital funding under a Labor Government.
This funding allows disability advocacy groups to promote and protect the rights of people with a disability, as well as providing individual support and advocacy.
The hardest hit by the loss of this funding will be people living in regional and rural parts of the State who face losing a local advocate on issues including transport, education, employment and health.
Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services Kate Washington
“25 years since the Disability Discrimination Act was passed but people with a disability still have to fight to be respected by the NSW Government.
“This Government can find $2.5 billion to knock down and rebuild stadiums but wants to cut funding to disability advocacy services.
“The cost of continuing this funding is 0.5 per cent of the Government’s stadium funding, and would see people living with a disability continue to have a peak body represent and advocate for their interests.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 1 March 2018.