MEDIA RELEASE - NSW Disability Advocacy Organisations Under Threat
The NSW Labor Opposition has warned that funding for disability advocacy services will be cut by the Berejiklian/Barilaro Government in 2020 and called on all concerned organisations and individuals to speak out against the cuts.
Labor and disability organisations successfully lobbied for the establishment of a NSW Disability Advocacy Review. The Review is now accepting submissions regarding the continuation of funding after 2020.
Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP said it was vital that all concerned organisations and individuals spoke out against the looming cut to funds, which poses a threat to the rights of people with physical, intellectual and psychosocial disability.
“I urge anyone who wants to ensure that people with disability have a say about decisions that affect their lives, and believes we should all be able to fully participate in our community, to make a submission to this review,” Ms Aitchison said.
Ms Aitchison said that some issues and situations, such as legal and systemic matters, demanded supported or legal advocacy.
“People with disability need to have their voice heard,” Ms Aitchison said. “Sometimes self-advocacy is possible, and sometimes people need to turn to those with expertise to advocate with them, and on their behalf.
‘I have referred a number of local people with disabilities and their careers to disability advocacy services as often the matters are very complex and require specialist skills to resolve. The other benefit is having the system policy advocacy arm, which ensures that issues are addressed for all people with disabilities; not just those who have the capacity to ask for help.
“These are the vital services that are under threat from the Berejiklian Government.”
Individuals and organisations can make a submission online here:
Submissions close 18 October 2019.
It is estimated that 1.4 million people in NSW live with disability. The demand for support has increased by between 50 and 100 per cent since 2016.
“I’m confident that submissions to the NSW Disability Advocacy Review will demonstrate just how important these services are to our community,” Ms Aitchison said.
“The Premier and her government cannot be allowed to wash their hands of this responsibility.”