Staff and clients of the Hunter’s disability advocacy services will be raising their voices this week, against the looming funding cuts planned by the Berejiklian Government.
The Berejiklian Government is using the roll out of the NDIS as a cover to end their long standing funding of disability advocacy funding. Unless the Premier intervenes, disability advocacy services will lose $13 million from July this year.
Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services Kate Washington MP will join Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp at the rally, and will be joined by disability advocates as well as people who have relied on this important service.
Come July this year, around 50 disability advocacy services, information providers and peak representational organisations will lose their NSW Government funding.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley has committed to maintain this vital funding under a Labor Government.
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.
#StandByMe RALLY FOR DISABILITY ADVOCATES
WHEN: Friday 9 March, 10:30am
WHERE: Disability Advocacy office
408 King St Newcastle (Opposite Star Hotel)
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP, Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services
“It’s immoral to see the Berejiklian Government spending $2.5 Billion on stadiums in Sydney, whilst cutting funding to disability services.
“The Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley, understands the importance of disability advocacy services to support the social, economic, and physical wellbeing of people with disabilities.
“The NSW Opposition not only backs the call from the sector for the NSW government to restore its funding, we are also committed to restoring the funding if Labor forms government in 2019."
Quotes attributable to Tim Crakanthorp MP, Member for Newcastle
“Disability advocacy groups promote and protect the rights of people with a disability, as well as providing individual support and advocacy. This is the last thing the government should be de-funding.
“The Berejiklian government has viewed the NDIS as an excuse to wash its hands of all responsibility for people with disabilities.
“The NDIS has brought with it much change. Now more than ever, people with disabilities and their families, need advocates to assist them to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of services.”
Quotes attributable to Mark Grierson, CEO Disability Advocacy NSW
“Our service and others like us will have to close offices or reduce services but more importantly thousands with a disability will have no access to advocacy to get a fair go.
“The NSW Ombudsman and the Disability Discrimination Commissioner have emphasised the need for continued disability advocacy but the only response we get from the government is that the NDIS will fix everything.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 8 March 2018.