International Disability Day Has Local Impact
3 December 2015 at 11:09 am
On the International Day of People with Disability, the Victorian Government has announced a $10 million transition program which includes consultation with the Not for Profit sector about its readiness to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Minister for Disability, Martin Foley, said the Government would begin a process to identify which organisations were best placed to deliver services that were currently provided by the State Government.
“The Government will ask Not for Profits and private providers about their interest and readiness to deliver NDIS services to people with disability,” Foley said.
He said the $10 million transition package would provide practical and targeted information and resources and would help them to adapt to the new way the NDIS would work.
“We are doing this to help ensure that when the NDIS comes to each new area, people with disabilities can expect that the range of services they need to live full and active lives will be ready,” he said.
“The Government is committed to ensuring staff are supported and treated fairly through this significant change. We also recognise the high level of care by current providers and will work with them to get the right organisations delivering the services people want and need.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said the Victorian Government would undertake a confidential process in 2016 to better understand the sector’s readiness to deliver Government managed services, and would consult with a range of providers and peak bodies.
"The Victorian Government is committed to keeping its stakeholders informed and engaged, and will regularly update them on the process,” the spokesperson said.
The Federal Labor Opposition also said if it won Government it would provide an additional $2 million a year to peak disability advocacy organisations to ensure people with disability had a powerful voice in the issues that affect their lives.
On International Day of People with Disability, the Labor Party said it recognised the crucial role of advocacy services in the successful rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“People with disability and their advocates spent decades fighting for a National Disability Insurance Scheme. Now, because of their hard work, the NDIS is real,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
“As the NDIS rolls out across the country, independent advocacy for people with disability becomes more important, not less.
“Advocacy organisations help people with disability ensure their rights are protected, help them make decisions about their lives and make sure their voices are heard in matters that affect them.”
Shorten said the additional funding that Labor would ensure disability advocacy peak bodies had secure funding into the future.
“This funding will also support new and emerging organisations to advocate on behalf of people with diverse sets of disabilities,” he said.
On Christmas Eve 2014, the Liberal Government cut funding for peak disability advocacy organisations.
“Organisations like the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Deaf Australia and Blind Citizens Australia had their future thrown into uncertainty. While a very small part of this funding has since been reinstated, this funding is inadequate and the future of these organisations remains in doubt after 1 July 2016,” Shorten said.
The sector’s peak body, Disability Australia, welcomed the Labor Party’s advocacy commitment to re-fund disability organisations that represent over 200,000 people with disability across Australia.
“We welcome today’s announcement and call for bi-partisan support for long-term stability and funding for people with disability organisations that were critical in achieving the NDIS,” CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and spokesperson for Disability Australia, Matthew Wright, said.
International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.