The State Government has announced a $4.5 million boost in funding for advocacy providers to assist the disability sector’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson today announced that $2 million of the funding would be invested in easing the short-term pressure on current providers, who have reported growing wait lists and waiting times for referrals.
The Government has worked closely with WA advocacy organisations to assist with their provision of services, with more than $4 million in funding to six providers in the past 12 months: Autism Association of Western Australia, Carers Association of WA, Consumers of Mental Health WA, Developmental Disability Council of WA, Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre and People with Disabilities WA.
This funding includes $1.9 million to support individual advocacy, plus $440,000 over two years for specialised advocacy services for Aboriginal people with disability in the Kimberley region through Kullarri Regional Indigenous Communities Corporation and Wunan Foundation.
The State Government has also provided a further $600,000 for advocacy providers to assist their transition to the NDIS.
The Commonwealth NDIS is currently being rolled out across WA on a regional basis. The remaining regions of WA will commence accessing the scheme from July 1, 2019.
As stated by Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
“While recent State funding has contributed significantly to ensuring sector sustainability and development, and safeguarding the rights of people with disability, I believe we can do more.
“I have worked closely with the sector during the transition to the Commonwealth NDIS and witnessed firsthand the emergence of issues impacting on the lives of individuals, their families and their carers.
“The McGowan Government is committed to investing in the safeguarding of people with disability so their voices can be heard and needs are met during the transition to the Commonwealth NDIS.
“The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a once-in-a-generation change and one of the largest policy reforms in Australia’s history. Such significant reform is not without challenges.”