Advocacy Funding Welcome Relief for People with Disability in NSW

DPO Australia welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement today of continued funding for disability advocacy organisations in NSW, including DPO Australia members, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN). A media release from the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance is copied below.

“You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the state when we woke to the news that our disability representative organisations and independent advocacy and information services will be able to continue to operate thanks to this funding commitment,” Physical Disability Council of New South Wales Executive Officer and NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance campaign spokesperson, Serena Ovens said.

“It is fantastic that the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has acted to address the funding issues.

“People with disability will continue to have somewhere to turn if they’re not getting a fair go, thanks to the State Government confirming that it will provide $26 million in funding over the next two years for disability advocacy services.”

The current funding for disability representative bodies, advocacy and information services in NSW was set to expire on June 30th 2018, and until today people with disability hadn’t been given any commitment that funding for the vital services would be continued.

“This is a huge win for people with disability in NSW,” Ms Ovens said.  “It’s great that the Premier and the NSW Government have listened to the concerns of people with disability and committed to securing this vital funding.

“People with disability rely on disability advocacy to make sure they’re getting a fair deal – whether it’s advocating for improved access on public transport, protecting workplace rights, or dealing with horrific cases of abuse, exploitation or discrimination.

“Advocacy organisations are the go-to for people with disability who are trying to negotiate the new NDIS system. It’s never been more important to have organisations where people with disability can help each other navigate the system.

“People with disability have been rightly very worried about the potential loss of our voice in the NSW community. We’ve had rallies, we’ve been visiting MPs, people have been writing postcards to the Premier – the response from the people with disability and the community broadly has been overwhelming.”

“This funding commitment means that we can get back to doing what we do best – ensuring people with disability have the support to speak up for ourselves and each other,” People with Disability Australia Board Vice President Brendan Pearce said.

Ms Ovens said while the specifics of the funding will now need to be discussed with the NSW Government, the commitment to two-year transitional funding is very welcomed.

“We will still, of course, need to go through the fine detail of the funding with the State Government, but the information we have so far is very positive.”

Media contact: Alana Mew, 0419 929 722