NSW Budget: mixed results for people with disability

18 June 2013

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the NSW Government’s budget commitment of $2.9 billion for ageing and disability services, including substantial funding that will support people with disability to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

PWDA also congratulates the Government for maintaining its commitment to the closure of Large Residential Centres (LRCs).  At a budget briefing, the Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. John Ajaka MLC recognised the need for ‘modern community based accommodation based on the needs of residents.’

Ms Therese Sands, PWDA Co-Chief Executive Officer commented, “We look forward to continuing to work with the NSW Government to ensure this budget results in genuine community living for people with disability moving out of institutions in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).”

In reference to broader budget measures, she also said, “The NDIS is a great innovation, but it must be supported by adequate infrastructure in service areas like housing, education and health, in order to realise the ‘choice and control’ it promises to people with disability.”

Housing is only one example of this: the Budget has earmarked less than 2.5% of its total capital infrastructure funds for an increase in public and social housing stock. Accessible, affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find in NSW. With support provision becoming more flexible under the NDIS, people with disability, including those currently living in specialist housing, are likely to seek access to and increase demand for ordinary housing in the community.  Further investment is critical.

PWDA is also concerned that the NDIS is being viewed as the solution for all support needs for people with disability.  However, many NSW residents with disability will not be eligible for the NDIS, and will still require their disability and mainstream service and support needs to be met.  Future NSW budgets will need to provide funding allocations to ensure that the ongoing needs of all people with disability in all aspects of their life are met.

MEDIA: Therese Sands 0412 935 128
Phone: 02 9370 3100 Toll Free: 1800 422 015 Email: pwd@pwd.org.au
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.
Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated.