NSW Budget of missed opportunity for people with disability

Today’s NSW State Budget was a missed opportunity to make sure people with disability get our fair share of the state’s common prosperity

“The NSW Government could have used today to make sure that NSW was a great place for people with disability to live, with accessible transport, housing and infrastructure,” said Ms Therese Sands, Co-CEO, People with Disability Australia.

“People with disability want somewhere to live, a job they can do and supports to make sure they can have a good life, just like everyone else.”

“The NSW Government will no longer provide disability services, which leaves people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS potentially without any supports. We want to see the Government making sure that mainstream services include people with disability.

“People with disability need accessible services, such as in health, community services and the justice system. The NSW Government also has to make sure that people with disability aren’t falling through the gaps created by the transition to the NDIS.”

The NSW State Budget detailed spending on housing and homelessness as part of a $1b package over four years.

“Everybody needs a home, and people with disability need homes that are accessible. Many private rental homes don’t have accessibility features so people with disability can’t live in them. This announcement could have made sure that more of our housing has universal design features to ensure it is is fit for everyone. The budget missed that opportunity,” said Ms Sands.

“All domestic and family violence services across NSW need to become accessible for people with disability so we are supported when escaping violence.”

There will be $133m spent on improving accessibility with 11 stations to get an upgrade.

“People with disability use our transport system to get to work, to study and to visit friends, just like other people. The Government needs to make sure that we can get on trains and go where we want to,” said Ms Sands.

“The investment in accessibility is welcome, but it’s really a drop in the bucket – people with disability still can’t use half of the stations in Sydney, and regional and rural transport needs significant improvement.”

Funding for NSW disability advocacy, representative and information services is secure for the next year, with funding allocated in the NSW Budget.

“People with disability access a huge range of mainstream services, such as health and education, and face real barriers. We need to have permanently funded advocacy and representative services so we can have our voices heard,” said Ms Sands.

“The NDIS will only cover 10% of the services and supports that people with disability in NSW need. Having advocacy and representation is vital to make sure people with disability can thrive in NSW.”