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Disability advocates rank major parties on disability election commitments

woman young woman in a wheelchair outdoors

Disability advocates have scored Australia’s major parties and several key independents on the election commitments they’re making in relation to people with disability – and so far it looks like the Greens along with Tasmania’s Andrew Wilkie are leading the pack.

Peak disability rights and advocacy organisation People with Disability Australia sent its election platform to a range of political parties and key independent candidates a month ago to clarify their policy positions across seven issues which are important to the one in six Australians who live with disability.

As of today, responses have been received from the Liberal-National Coalition, Labor, Greens, One Nation, Centre Alliance and independent candidates Andrew Wilkie and Zali Steggall.

PWDA President Samantha Connor: “We’d like to thank the parties and candidates who have responded to our election survey.

“Our policy team has reviewed and evaluated their responses – as well as any commitments the major parties have made during the course of the campaign – to develop a full survey report as well as a scorecard which provides an easy reference guide to help inform the voting decisions of people with disability and their families.

“While a range of commitments have been made by various parties and candidates, the Greens and independent member for Clark Andrew Wilkie have demonstrated very clear and worthwhile support across pretty much all the issues outlined in PWDA’s election platform, so they get the most thumbs up from us. Their positions in relation to increasing financial security for people with disability and extending the National Disability Insurance Scheme to people over 65 years of age are of key interest.

“In close pursuit is Labor and Centre Alliance candidate for Mayo Rebekah Sharkie. Labor has provided very positive commitments across several key areas including the NDIS, housing and employment. In particular, Labor’s plan for a better future for the NDIS is a comprehensive plan that responds well to what people with disability and our families have been calling for. Ms Sharkie is giving full or partial commitments across most areas, including increasing the Disability Support Pension to levels people with disability can live on.

“Then come the Liberal-National Coalition and independent member for Warringah Zali Steggall. The Coalition has confirmed it will continue to deliver on its existing commitments in relation to disability but has not noted any new commitments. Ms Steggall has backed better responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disability and an end to age discrimination on the NDIS.

“If we receive any further responses from the major parties or any other independent candidates, we’ll re-evaluate our survey results and update our scorecard accordingly.

“We’ll also continue to advocate on a range of key issues in the lead-up to the election on May 21 and we look forward to keeping our members and supporters informed so they can make their vote count in the best way they can for people with disability.”

You can review and download the PWDA Election 2022 Disability Issues Scorecard on the PWDA website. Full responses from all respondents are also available in the PWDA Election 2022 Disability Survey Report.

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