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Disability orgnisation says Labor’s Budget reply needs more detail

Disabled woman in wheelchair with assistant walking in garden

Australia’s peak disability rights and advocacy organisation has welcomed some of the provisions in Labor’s reply to the 2022-23 Federal Budget but says that the Opposition’s response is lacking in detail about measures to support people with disability.

PWDA President Samantha Connor: “It was pleasing to hear a commitment from Labor to ‘fix the NDIS’ and commit broadly to structural reforms across a number of policy areas, but the devil is in the detail.”

“Last night, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese talked about the big reforms that Labor had introduced and was committed to, including Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We need to know that this includes tangible measures around those reforms which will make sure people with disability are safe, supported and can access the help that they need.”

PWDA says both the Opposition and Coalition appear to have ignored key budget requests that PWDA and other key disability organisations have been advocating for over the last few months.

“What we wanted to see was a commitment to provide people with disability with more support during emergencies like floods and bushfires, more protection from COVID, better support via the NDIS, and increased support from disability advocacy services.”

“We understand there are further election announcements forthcoming, but without the detail of how they will be funded and delivered, people with disability remain in crisis and without certainty.”

People with Disability Australia welcomes Labor’s two and a half billion dollar commitment to fix the aged care industry if they win the coming federal election, which will help address the crisis for people with age acquired disability living in nursing homes. Other measures, including addressing cost of living pressures, ensuring the safety of Medicare, more opportunities in training and fixing the care workforce are also welcomed.

However, in a Budget reply that Labor says is about improving care, people with disability must not be left behind.

“We’ve been left behind in the responses to COVID and various natural disasters, we’ve had to fight a savaging of our NDIS by the government and there’s been no action on improving poverty or industry models for disability support services which deliver segregation, abuse and indignity to many people in our community,” Ms Connor said.

“It’s not good enough for either side of government to say they are ‘fully funding’ the NDIS if our funding is cut and if we’re unable to get the support we need, nor is it okay for government to ignore the impact of the last two years of rolling emergencies and disasters on people with disability.”

“Along with a range of other issues, delivering better protection for people with disability from emergencies and disasters, and providing a truly inclusive, effective and sustainable NDIS will be key issues for us and our community partners during the upcoming election campaign.”

“We hope both the Opposition and the Government step up and show they’re serious about protecting and supporting people with disability.”
PWDA’s election platform will be handed down on Tuesday 5 April, 2022.

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