Hunter Labor MPs have welcomed the announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would provide an additional $2 million a year to peak disability advocacy organisations to ensure people with disability have a powerful voice in the decisions and debates that affect their lives.
“People with disability and their advocates in our community have spent decades fighting for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will start rolling out across the country next year,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“Under the NDIS people with disability will have more choice and control over their own lives. This means strong advocacy services will become more and important, not less.
“The $2 million a year that a future Labor Government will deliver sets in place a strong advocacy network making sure people will disability in the Hunter have a stronger voice,” Ms Claydon said.
“This funding will support new and emerging organisations to advocate on behalf of people with diverse sets of abilities.”
“There are a number of Hunter-based advocacy organisations working with people with a disability; such as Disability Advocacy NSW, which is based in Newcastle, and the Community Disability Alliance Hunter,” Mr Conroy said.
“Whilst this new funding will go to peak national bodies, it will also help ease the pressure on local services and support the vital work they do supporting people as they interact with government departments and the NDIS.”
Ms Hall is a member of the Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee that oversees the rollout of the NDIS and she has often raised this need for more advocacy for people with disability.
“I have been talking directly with a number of groups about the importance of advocacy and the need for more advocacy funding,” she said.
“Advocacy is so important. Without a good advocate people with disability often can’t link into the services they really need and they may find it more difficult to succeed.”
“Only last week I was talking to IDEAS, the Information and Disability Education and Awareness Services, about a number of issues relating to advocacy and I also discussed the matter with the NDIS Standing Committee.
“The fact that a Shorten Labor Government is committed to funding this much-needed service is extremely welcome.”
This time last year the Liberals cut funding for peak disability advocacy organisations. They also sacked Australia’s full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner who worked tirelessly to defend the rights of people with disability.
Under Labor, people with disability in the Hunter will have strong advocates to make sure their interests are never sidelined, never ignored and never forgotten.
TUESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2015
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
Federal Member for Hunter
PAT CONROY MP
Federal Member for Charlton
SHARON CLAYDON MP
Federal Member for Newcastle
JILL HALL MP
Federal Member for Shortland