top of page

AGEING & DISABILITY COMMISSIONER: "MY BUDGET WAS CUT BY 60 PER CENT BEFORE I EVEN STARTED"



Bombshell evidence in budget estimates yesterday afternoon revealed the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission is so underfunded, it may not be viable beyond the current financial year. The Ageing and Disability Commissioner, Mr Robert Fitzgerald, revealed his initial $29 million budget over four years was cut by 60 per cent just before the commission’s doors opened in 2019. The Commissioner told the hearing: “We’ve had seven ministers who jointly administer our Act in the last three years. “I’ve indicated to the government very clearly that, in relation to the commission’s core budget, the commission will be unable to fulfill its statutory functions to the extent that is expected by Parliament unless the budget is fixed. “The issue of resourcing the Commission’s intended activities is of serious issue. “Fundamentally, there is a deficit. The deficit has been coming, and there’s a financial cliff at the end of this financial year. “Because the original budget was cut, there is actually no fat left in the organisation because it was taken out before we opened, with a 60 per cent reduction in the anticipated budget. There’s nothing left.

“I believe the government, and the Parliament through its unanimous support, were very, very, very wise in the establishment of the Commission. The Commission is lauded amongst the rest of the states as being a very good model. There isn’t a single criticism of the Commission to date.

“I think DCJ was absolutely right in the indicative budget they put forward, and the government was very imprudent to cut it back by 60 per cent before the doors opened.” NSW Shadow Minister for Disability Inclusion, Kate Washington, called the revelations shocking. NSW Shadow Minister for Seniors, Jodie Harrison was appalled by yesterday’s evidence. Kate Washington said: “The Liberal-National Government secretly cut the Ageing and Disability Commission’s budget by 60 per cent before it even opened its doors. “Now we know that Commissioner Fitzgerald has spent the last three years patching things together and begging the government to restore his funding before it all falls over. But three years and seven ministers later, the government hasn’t delivered. “Unless this funding shortfall is fixed, people with disability and seniors will be exposed to greater risk of abuse and neglect.” Jodie Harrison said: “It’s shocking that this heartless government hasn’t seen fit to adequately fund the Commission’s important work. “The government and the minister should hang their heads in shame for the position they have put the Ageing and Disability Commissioner in. He should not have to publicly beg for funding just to deliver what the government expects of him.”


WEDNESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2022

Kommentare


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
bottom of page