The NSW Government Fails to Commit to Decisive Action for all People with Disability

People with disability will continue to miss out or struggle to receive the supports they need in NSW, as the NSW Government today failed to commit to key recommendations from the NSW Upper House Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) implementation.

In its response to the wide-ranging inquiry into the NDIS, the NSW Government has rejected the evidence from people with disability for the ongoing need for representation and advocacy and support, including for those of us who can’t access services through the NDIS.

“We are disappointed that the NSW Government has ignored the Inquiry’s recommendations to fund disability advocacy, representation and information beyond 2020. This was a critical recommendation from the committee.” said Romola Hollywood, Director Policy and Advocacy at People with Disability Australia (PWDA).

“Representative organisations of people with disability, like People with Disability Australia (PWDA), ensure our voices are heard at all levels of government. This is more essential now with the implementation of the NDIS, and the prevailing view that this will solve all issues for people with disability,” she said.

“The Inquiry heard that many people are missing out or not getting the supports they need, and this is particularly the situation for people with psychosocial disability, and people with disability who have chronic health conditions or multiple diagnoses. People with disability in our community need ongoing representation and advocacy to make our voices heard.” said Ms Hollywood.

A key recommendation was that the NSW Government establish a service of ‘provider of last resort’ to address the fact that some people with disability either can’t get access to the NDIS or may not be able access the services they need through a market-based approach under the NDIS, particularly in rural and regional areas.

In its response, the Government appears to suggest that current NSW services such as hospitals, homeless shelters and prisons can fill service gaps. This completely fails to acknowledge that people with disability are already overrepresented and discriminated against in these systems largely due to failures and gaps in the delivery of disability supports.

PWDA calls for immediate clarification and resourcing of service provision from the NSW government for those in our community who miss out on disability supports, including people who are ineligible for the NDIS, and may find themselves imprisoned, homeless or at risk of harm and even death.

PWDA welcomes the NSW government commitment to take an active role in advocating for further improvements and reforms at the Commonwealth level, through its important role on the Disability Reform Council. NDIS access and planning are vital issues of concern for people with disability.

We strongly urge the NSW Government to replicate this active approach to their own responsibilities within NSW. The NSW Government must ensure that all people with disability in NSW receive the state government funded supports they deserve, including representation, advocacy and providers of last resort.