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 Infrastructure saves the day for disability – ACT Budget

MEDIA RELEASE, 2 June 2015

 

Advocacy for Inclusion is impressed by some significant infrastructure commitments in ACT budget 2015-16 which save the day for disability spending overall. “Without these initiatives this budget would be very disappointing” said Christina Ryan, general manager Advocacy for Inclusion.

“However, we continue to be disturbed that the ACT Government continues its support for non-human rights compliant disability service models which should now be phased out as the NDIS phases in” continued Ms Ryan. “A new congregate care respite facility for young people with disabilities is unacceptable and the money should be redirected to more progressive supports.”

           

Positive initiatives for people with disabilities in the 2015 ACT Budget:

  1. Substantial commitment to the redevelopment of the ACT court precinct. This will ensure that people with disabilities can finally participate across all areas of the justice system, including jury service.
  2. Extra funding for Legal Aid ACT will benefit people with disabilities who rely heavily on this service to gain access to legal support.
  3. Major public housing renewal program. People with disabilities are the single largest tenancy group in public housing, so this will mean accessible housing is more readily available and will improve waiting times to gain access to public housing.
  4. Much needed extra supports for students with disabilities including in classroom and transport to public schools.

 

Key concerns with this budget:

  1. There are no specific initiatives to assist women with disabilities escaping domestic violence. A modest addition to the small pilot program underway is sorely needed.
  2. No clarity on funding for people with disabilities or their advocacy and/or representative organisations. This uncertainty is undermining small organisations that support people with disabilities to be heard and to prepare for the NDIS.
  3. Further funding has been committed to the congregate respite facility which also received funding in last year’s budget. This is a model straight from the Victorian era of disability care which should become obsolete as a result of the NDIS roll out.

“At a time of fiscal challenge we welcome some solid physical infrastructure measures. We now look forward to collaborating on the development of programs to raise the social inclusion of people with disabilities” concluded Ms Ryan.

For more information: Office: 6257 4005