Voices of Queenslanders with disability have been heard

The Queensland Disability Advocacy Alliance has welcomed the announcement by the Queensland Minister for Disability Services, the Honourable Craig Crawford, that the government will extend its funding of disability advocacy services in Queensland, committing $8.1 million over the next two years.

Around 200 people with disability rallied in Brisbane and Rockhampton yesterday to raise their concerns about the future of funding for disability advocacy, as part of the Stand with Us! campaign.

Spokesperson for the Stand with us! campaign, Des Ryan, said that yesterday’s turnout shows just how much disability advocacy matters to people with disability.

“Advocacy helps people with disability right across Queensland, including in regional areas, when they’re most in need of help. Help that is not available through any other avenue,” Mr Ryan said.

CEO of ADA Australia and spokesperson for the QLD Disability Advocacy Alliance Geoff Rowe said that people with disability have been heard, but there is more work to do.

“Through the Stand with us! campaign Queensland Government has heard directly from people with disability that access to advocacy is very important in their lives, and they have listened.

“However, the need for advocacy support is ongoing and people with disability and their families need certainty that advocacy supports will be available to them in the future.”

Minister Crawford attended the rally and reaffirmed Queensland Government support for disability advocacy but acknowledged that the two-year funding commitment is a stop-gap measure while an ongoing funding model for advocacy is developed between the state and federal governments.

This work will be guided by a new National Disability Strategy and a Federal Government demand and gap analysis of independent disability advocacy and decision-making supports.

Geoff Rowe said that work towards an ongoing disability advocacy funding model is paramount, and that the NDIS is only one part of the picture.

“The two-year funding commitment is a great start, and the Alliance looks forward to working with government to help develop a sustainable and fair funding model that provides advocacy support for all Queenslanders with disability, not just those who are participants in the NDIS.”

In the meantime, the Alliance will work with Queensland Government on processes to allocate the $8.1 million and continue to provide disability advocacy support where it’s needed.
Stand with us! visit www.standwithus.com.au

Media contacts:

Geoff Rowe, ADA Australia E: geoff.rowe@adaaustralia.com.au P: 0474 774 273

Maureen Fordyce, AMPARO E: maureen@amparo.org.au P: 0401 600 245

About QLD Disability Advocacy Alliance

A number of independent disability advocacy organisations across the state have joined forces to form the QLD Disability Advocacy Alliance, who are collectively calling on the Queensland Government for continued funding support for individual, citizen and systemic disability advocacy.

The Alliance includes:

Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland (ATSIDNQ)

AMPARO Advocacy

Capricorn Citizen Advocacy

Gold Coast Advocacy

Independent Advocacy NQ

IRASI – Ipswich Regional Advocacy Services Inc

Mackay Advocacy

Queenslanders with Disability Network

Rights in Action

SUFY – Speaking up for You

TASC – The Advocacy and Support Centre

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