A Call for Action – State Funded Advocacy at Risk
The future of state funded advocacy is at risk. The Queensland Government’s deal with the Commonwealth Government to transition to the NDIS included the state handing over its disability budget to the Commonwealth Government from July 2019. Just last week the Labor Government committed to fund independent advocacy for people with disabilities beyond 30th June 2019 if re-elected. The announcement was made by Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke in Townsville last week at a #AdvocacyMatters forum.
The LNP has not yet made the same commitment. For more
If the state government was to cease funding independent advocacy SUFY would lose 1/3 of its individual advocacy funding, which is one advocates position. This would significantly impact on how SUFY operates and would reduce the number of people with a disability who would be able to access our independent individual advocacy service.
SUFY is not the only advocacy organisation that will be affected. The majority of advocacy organisations around Queensland will lose part or all of their funding placing many at risk of closing.
This will deny an important source of funding for some of the most vulnerable people in our state. Some who will not be eligible for support under the NDIS and who will require well resourced, strong and vigorous advocacy to ensure access to mainstream services and that their human rights are protected and defended.
This is not solely a Queensland issue. The majority of the states throughout Australia are planning to cease state funded advocacy once the NDIS is fully rolled out in their state.
All levels of government have a responsibility to support advocacy for people with disabilities to ensure they can exercise their rights and freedoms. State governments are responsible for essential services such as health, housing, education, justice and transport for all of their citizens. Too often people with disabilities experience or are vulnerable to barriers and discrimination when trying to access these services and require advocacy support.
#AdvocacyMatters is a statewide campaign to maintain the level of independent advocacy available to people with disability throughout Queensland. To raise awareness and to call people to action.
So what can you do
With the State Election happening, now is the time to visit your local member and other candidates running in your electorate and tell them why #AdvocacyMatters to you.Remember to take a copy of the #AdvocacyMatters Position Paper with you.
The future of independent advocacy is uncertain and we are calling upon you all to get behind SUFY and other disability advocacy organisations.