Australians with disabilities must be supported – and offered access – to ensure their full participation in society. This is important. As with other areas mentioned in this document, reform should be led by people with lived-experience of disability, to ensure their autonomy and dignity is at the heart of any decisions made that may impact their lives.
If elected, I would advocate for the following:
- Government should meet and, where possible, surpass the recommendations in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Systemic reform being led by people with lived experience of disability.
- The dismantling of the ‘marketisation’ of services that leads to discrimination against our most vulnerable – who may not be able to adequately advocate for themselves – by prioritising outcome indicators over actual delivery of services.
o As University of Melbourne research demonstrates, ‘The idea of this marketisation of government-funded services is intended to prompt providers to be more responsive to consumers in order to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. But this is based on the idea that individuals have equal capabilities to exercise choice and control.
o The reality for many people with disabilities is, of course, very different. The privatisation of the Disability Employment Services (DES) scheme, has been a case in point. It demonstrates the inevitability of market failure when addressing the needs of our nation’s vulnerable citizens.
- The proper funding and administration of The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
o At its inception, the NDIS promised Australians with disabilities previously unthinkable freedoms. The initial implementation was beset by challenges, due to lessons unlearned from comparable, previous reforms.
o Additionally, the Liberal-National Government approach to this sector has been to undermine its very foundations.
o Disability advocates have characterised the Government’s approach as, ‘flawed, unethical, and dangerous.’
o Its proposal for independent assessments – scrapped only after sustained stakeholder condemnation – threatened to traumatise our nation’s most vulnerable.
o The system is nightmarish for families to deal with, retraumatising people already grappling with tremendous challenges.
o If elected, I would strongly advocate for an end to the Liberal-National Government’s policy of NDIS cost-cutting.
o I will always strongly advocate for a well-funded and administered NDIS
- The implementation of safeguards to prevent predatory, negligent, and/or profiteering providers abusing the NDIS.
o I would also drive the implementation of robust protections for people with disabilities from such providers
- The implementation of recommendations arising from the Disability Royal Commission, which is due to deliver its final report to Government in 2023.
- Adequate funding and staffing of our public health system so that people with disability are able to access all services necessary to maintain quality of life.
- Implementation of a review into systemic underpinnings of discrimination against people with disability.
I will be a strong advocate for people with disability. Their contribution to and participation in society cannot be considered in economic terms alone. I will not stand for any measures or cost cutting that reduces the ability of human beings to contribute to our national life.