The Hodgman Government must urgently explain how it will support 90,000 Tasmanians living with a disability when the organisations they depend on are left without funding in March 2020.
The introduction of the NDIS means the State Government will no longer fund disability service providers, which have until March 2020 to rely on bridging funding. After March, organisations will be reliant on applying for federal grants through the NDIS called Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program (ILC).
However Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Jo Siejka, said ILC grants are not suitable for many small providers, are time-limited, project or program focused, do not cover an organisation’s overheads and can take up to 200 hours to complete an application.
“ILC grants will never be an option for many of Tasmania’s small providers and will leave numerous organisations that service specific disabilities with no option but to close,” Ms Siejka said.
“No Tasmanian organisations have received ILC grant in the latest round of funding and ILC grants are quite simply not going to provide a solution.
“There are 90,000 Tasmanians who have a disability and who are not eligible for the NDIS, their only option for support is to rely on services that have been funded by the Tasmanian Government.
“Tasmanians deserve to know how people living with a disability will have their needs met by the State Government, which is currently more interested in delivering $450 million budget cuts than looking after Tasmanians.
“Tasmania’s disability sector is already under enormous pressure and for some organisations not receiving Government support will mean they will have to close.
“Brain Injury Association of Tasmania, amongst others, has not been successful in the latest round of ILC grants.
“BIAT is a long running Tasmanian organisation with a fantastic reputation for helping local people. Not continuing their funding to deliver valuable and critical services is short sighted and makes no sense.
“It is currently not clear how many Tasmanians are continuing to suffer without adequate supports, which is not good enough.
“The Hodgman Government must take seriously its responsibility to ensure there are services for all Tasmanians living with a disability – this includes funding BIAT and other services into the future.”
Jo Siejka MLC
Shadow Minister for Disabilities