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.