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NSW election 2019 – what do the parties say about intellectual disability?

The NSW State election is on Saturday 23 March. To help you consider who you want to give your vote to, we have put together information on the record of the Liberal/National Government and commitments made by the political parties.

Fiona with a voting card

Review of the current term of government

We at CID have been very critical of the Liberal/National Government’s approach to NDIS implementation and its exit from being a disability service provider:

The government was also committed to stop funding disability advocacy services in June 2018. It was only in April 2018 that they changed this position and extended funding until mid-2020.

On the other hand, the government has taken some substantial positive actions for people with intellectual disability:

Looking forward – what we asked the parties

In December 2018, CID submitted to the political parties commitments we were seeking in the state election. Our key commitments were focused on:

We also asked for commitments on updating guardianship laws, transport, maintaining important functions of the Ombudsman, rights protection in supported accommodation and a disability service provider of last resort.

The parties have responded

The Liberal/National government has responded in a detailed letter mainly emphasising steps that are already in place rather than committing to what we ask. The government does commit to:

The Labor opposition has responded positively to some of the commitments we asked for:

The Greens have written to us with strong and clear support for most of the commitments we asked for. This includes:

What about advocacy funding?

Labor and the Greens have been very clear in their commitment to continued funding of advocacy services, as have the Christian Democrats, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and independent members Alex Greenwich, Greg Piper and Joe Maguire.

Labor has specifically committed to maintaining disability advocacy funding at the current rate of $13 million a year. The Greens have committed to $20 million dollars a year.

Disappointingly, the government has not committed to funding advocacy. Instead, they say that, before June 2020, they will "identify, monitor and address any emerging gaps" in advocacy services, including "reviewing any ongoing need" to extend funding.

Education

In public education, the government recently released a Disability Strategy, which has substantial potential to improve the education of students with disability.

On the other hand, the strategy does not provide any clear leadership on maximising the opportunities for students with disabilities to be part of ordinary classes in mainstream schools.

Labor has committed to major increases in spending on schools, including employing more teachers.

The Greens support fully inclusive education.

In tertiary and further education, both the government and Labor have made significant commitments to increased funding, with Labor specifically committing to free training of workers for the disability workforce.

Over to you!

On Saturday, each of us can weigh up the record and promises of the parties and decide who gets our vote.

CID looks forward to working with the next parliament to advance the rights and inclusion of people with intellectual disability.

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Published 19 March 2019


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