Access to Justice for Disabled Key for WA Budget
30 October 2014 at 10:20 am
The Western Australian Government needs to do its part to give disabled people greater access to the justice system, according to a Pre-Budget Submission from a peak disability services advocate group.
National Disability Services Western Australia (NDS WA) released its submission to the State Government this week, outlining critical disability issues that it believes need funding in the 2015-16 WA State Budget.
Eight priority areas with a specific call for action were given to Alistair Jones from the Department of Treasury at an official launch this week.
"Our two highest priority recommendations this year are for the Government to invest in the protection of vulnerable witnesses with disability, who are not able to access justice like the rest of the community, and to call on the Government to provide leadership in increasing employment opportunities for West Australians with disability," Julie Waylen, NDS WA State Manager, said.
“It is critical that funding be made available for such an initiative so that people with disability do not continue to be denied equal protection and justice in our judicial system and courts,” the submission said.
“Our particular focus is to ensure that people with disability and the disability sector have a strong influence in shaping the implementation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. We need to build on the existing strong level of services that are provided in Western Australia – which leads the nation in many aspects of the design and delivery of disability services.
“Other priority areas in this submission are to continue to build the economic security of people with disability by creating training and employment opportunities and providing better housing accessibility and affordability.
“NDS WA acknowledges that the State Government currently faces budget constraints and that it is not possible to fulfil all community funding requests.
“Therefore, the aim of this submission is to give Government a clear picture of the challenges facing the disability sector and people with disability in Western Australia and help determine funding priorities to address the most critical areas of demand for services that are currently unmet.”
Other key recommendations in the submission included;
Ensuring the evaluation of the NDIS trial sites fully engages with people with disability and the sector and is an independent and transparent evaluation process of the respective WA NDIS launch sites.
Building housing ownership and affordability for people with disability by funding the implementation of priority recommendations in NDS's 'Housing Ownership and Affordability for People Living With Disability' report.
Stronger enforcement of ACROD Parking, including adequate monitoring and an appropriate fines regime set at $2,000 for infringement.
Address transport poverty by funding a comprehensive long-term Disability Transport Strategy for people with disability in Western Australia. A specific priority is renewed commitment to ensuring a reliable, accessible and respectful taxi service for people with disability in WA.