NSW Greens MP and Disability spokesperson, Dawn Walker has welcomed the State Government’s partial back-down on cuts to disability advocacy services following a strong campaign by the disability sector.
“People with a disability should be celebrating today at the news that State Government has caved into community pressure and won’t proceed with their planned cuts to disability advocacy services that would have impacted people right across NSW.
“These heartless cuts forced people in wheelchairs and families with children with autism onto the streets in protest. These are people that have enough on their plate without having to come out and defend their basic rights.
“While the Government has done the right thing in the short-term, it’s shameful that the Liberal-Nationals continue to see people with a disability as easy targets and have only guaranteed disability advocacy funding for two years.
“This is a Government that likes to crow about budget surpluses, but shows its true colours when it resists funding essential disability services. They used the transition to the NDIS as cover for these cuts, but other states like Victoria stepped up to ensure that their disability advocacy funding would be maintained, while people in NSW were going to be left high and dry.
“Today we celebrate this win, but must also recognise how appalling it is that the State Government thought it could get away with cutting funding for people with a disability. The NSW Government must commit to maintaining disability advocacy funding into the future.
“The Greens congratulate the #StandByMe campaign and will continue to support the rights and funding for people with a disability” said Dawn Walker MP.
Disability advocacy services assist some of the most vulnerable people in our community with a range of everyday issues, including housing needs, service complaints and developing their NDIS applications and plans.
The proposed cuts to disability advocacy services was expected to wipe out 50 NSW advocacy groups from June 2018.