This week, the Berejiklian Government has shamefully finalised the full privatisation of disability services in New South Wales, with Ray Williams now the ‘Minister for No Disability Services’.
Premier Berejiklian and her Minister for No Disability Services have chosen to ignore the increasing cries for help from people with disability – and their carers – who are being left with no support whatsoever.
Despite the many obvious and widening gaps in essential supports, the Minister for No Disability Services has been crowing about NSW being the first state to complete the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The NSW Government has used the rollout of the NDIS as an excuse to privatise and close down all government-run disability services. No other state has followed suit because of the impact on people with disability who are not eligible for NDIS plans, or those who are waiting for a plan or those who cannot access the basic supports they need from private providers.
In NSW, it is estimated that more than 80% of people with disability will not be eligible for NDIS plans.
NSW Labor recently secured a parliamentary inquiry into the implementation of the NDIS and the provision of disability services in NSW. Submissions from individuals and service providers are now being sought.
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“As of Sunday, there are no disability services being delivered by our state government, and vulnerable people are suffering as a result.
“The Minister for No Disability Services has been crowing about the NDIS rollout, but many people with disabilities, their families and carers are breaking under the strain of a system that has too many gaps.
“The sector is in crisis. Services are closing, early intervention support groups are winding up, funding is being slashed, people with complex and profound disabilities are being evicted from their homes, and dodgy service providers are making a buck on the back of the most vulnerable.
“Under the heartless Berejiklian-Barilaro Government, there are no safeguards and there is no safety net. The most vulnerable people in our communities are falling through the cracks and there’s no-one to catch them.
“This is why NSW Labor pushed for the parliamentary inquiry into disability services – so the gaps can be identified and addressed. The NDIS is too important not to get right.
“Now that NSW no longer provides disability services, it begs the question, why do we have a Minister for Disability Services? What does he actually do?”
This item was distributed as a media release on Tuesday 3 July 2018.