A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry has today released a report acknowledging the dire state of disability support services in New South Wales under the current State and Federal Liberal governments.
The report found that despite NSW being the first state to complete the rollout of the NDIS, ‘its potential has not been realised for many individuals in NSW to date.’
The Committee has made 23 recommendations to improve access and enhance the strength of disability services across NSW. Significantly, the Committee has recommended that the state government restore safety-net disability services to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our communities always have somewhere to turn.
The report confirms that the Berejiklian Government has used the NDIS as an excuse to entirely vacate the space of providing disability services, stating “[t]he committee shares the concerns of a number of inquiry participants who suggested that the NSW Government has used the NDIS to replace existing services, rather than complement them.”
In contrast to the NSW Liberal-National Government, NSW Labor has committed to:
restoring government-funded safety-net disability services in NSW, and
funding disability advocacy services in perpetuity.
Many of the report’s recommendations call on the Berejiklian Government to end its hands-off approach and actively pursue structural changes to the NDIS with their Liberal-National colleagues in Canberra.
The report has noted that the Berejiklian Government’s short-sighted actions have led to large cost shifts onto other struggling state services, including the health, education and justice systems.
The full report can be found here: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/inquiries/2496/Final%20report.pdf
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“This report confirms that too many people with disability in NSW are falling through the cracks.
“Ray Williams – the Minister for No Disability Services – has a lot to answer for. Whilst people have been struggling under the transition to the NDIS, he’s privatised all state-run disability services and denied any responsibility for anything related to his portfolio.
“This report puts an end to his denials. There are serious problems that he must address, with glaring gaps in services in early intervention, respite and people with complex needs.
“The Berejiklian Government has vacated the space with obscene haste, leaving people with nowhere to turn. NSW Labor will fund disability advocacy services in perpetuity and ensure there’s a safety net to catch people before they fall.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 6 December 2018.