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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Disability service workers call on premier to have a heart

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Sign at a disability rally in Sydney in 2014. (AAP Image/Newzulu/Richard Ashen)
Sign at a disability rally in Sydney in 2014. (AAP Image/Newzulu/Richard Ashen)

A sea of hearts will descend on the Lismore Workers Club this Valentine’s Day pleading with the new premier to show she has one.

Hundreds of hearts will also be held high in Sydney and four other regional areas by dedicated disability services workers – represented by the Public Service Association (PSA) – who are appealing to the premier to continue to provide government care for the state’s most vulnerable.

‘If the greyound industry and councils are worth saving – then the thousands of people with disabilities who depend on government care must be protected,’ PSA general secretary Stewart Little said.

The NSW Government is totally privatising the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to make way for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

‘NSW will be the only state in Australia with no government safety net, throwing the care of people with disability into free fall,’ Mr Little said.

‘Many will land heavily in the state’s hospitals, mental health facilities and even the criminal justice system, areas lacking expertise in specialist disability care.’

Mr Little said that in regional NSW, where existing services are already stretched, the move will be even more sharply felt.

He added that ‘looming funding shortfalls with the NDIS make it imperative the NSW government continue to offer disability services to those with the highest needs.’

‘The NSW Government is washing its hands of all responsibility and walking away,’ Mr Little said.

‘The government has attempted to deceive the community by building up the NDIS as an all things to everyone miracle service provider, knowing full well many high level care services will be scrapped because they are too expensive.

‘The privatisation will mean the most vulnerable in our society and their families are going to be subjected to a social disaster, a repeat of what has been occurring in TAFE with private providers.

‘The abolition of ADHC, the biggest disability provider in this state, could mean the loss of 14,000 dedicated workers and disaster for the families and people they care for,’ Mr Little said.

ADHC staff have been providing specialist disability services in group homes, big residential units, therapy services, case management and behaviourial services since 1986.

 


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to the world of Malcolm’s agenda. Notice the latest political promise to put funds into NDIS at the expense of families and those in need? Small government at the expense of all that is precious to the common person. Family, social care, health, quality education for all. Billions put into Government’s idea of providing for the disabled is just more money into the pockets of “service providers” whose agenda is not providing service. It is reaping profits for shareholders of multi national companies. Workers for those cancerous organisations struggle for living wages and reasonable working conditions.

  2. This decision by the NSW government to close state run disability services and wholesale privatize is very damaging to people with a disability. There must be quality of care and families are very concerned about this. The government has been warned by disability advocates and researchers that the NDIS will not provide sufficient funding to maintain services to high support state disability clients.

  3. If ever you want a example of how governments are intertwined with big business you need to look no further than the tension created by proper scientific investigation into the link between lung cancer and cigarette smoking. The smoking industry worked with governments to discredit results in order to enable tobacco companies to sell cancer sticks. The result is now evident and governments are now paying for it. Not the tobacco industry. Maybe the tobacco and gambling moguls might now invest in the disability service industry, Lots of money for executives. Maybe not employees.

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