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Advocacy for Inclusion Blog

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Defending Democracy – We Need to Continue the Fight



Last week the Human Rights Law Centre released a report titled Defending democracy: safeguarding independent community voices. The report outlined the significant importance that community organisations, like Advocacy for Inclusion, deliver to public wellbeing and policy.

As civil society members, community organisations provide services on behalf of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and ensure public debate continues and is heard. With increasing financial pressure and clauses introduced to our funding agreements, our community voices are becoming less heard and suppressed further. Advocacy for Inclusion actively fights to be heard on advocacy issues on behalf of people with disabilities that are heavily marginalised in the ACT. Through our self-advocacy groups and policy work, we are working to ensure that they are heard and develop the voice to be heard.

Advocacy is needed more than ever to ensure that the public debate continues for our most marginalised in the ACT and Australia-wide.
We support the following recommendations to:

• Federal and state governments should remove any clauses from funding agreements with NGOs (Advocacy for Inclusion is a DPO) that prevent government funding being used for law reform, policy and advocacy work.
• Standard terms should be introduced into federal and state funding agreements with NGOs to clarify that organisations with government funding are not preventing from entering the public debate or criticising governments.
• The Federal government should restore and ensure funding to peak sector bodies that undertake advocacy work on behalf of their sectors.
Advocacy for Inclusion also holds a DGR status and reply on our status to ensure that our work continues and our self-advocacy groups continue. We also see that it improves our organisation’s ability to foster a stronger, independent and diverse disability sector on behalf of our consumers.

The question can be asked: if we cannot criticise openly criticise our government and with reason, how do we hold our government to account in order to be included in active democracy?

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Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Referen...
Federal Budget 2017-18 Release

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