Petrusma’s incompetence leaves disability organisations in limbo

Tasmanian Labor

· Disability organisations facing uncertain future

· Serious questions Minister Petrusma must answer

· Services for 90,000 Tasmanians under threat

Despite years to prepare, Disability Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma is not ready for the transition to the NDIS and it is Tasmanian advocacy organisations and the people they represent who will suffer.

Shadow Minister for Disabilities Jo Siejka today convened a roundtable of some of the 18 disability organisations who face funding uncertainty from July 1 due to the Hodgman Government’s inaction.

Currently 10,600 Tasmanians are eligible for the NDIS. Approximately 90,000 aren’t eligible and rely on these organisations.

“These disability service organisations were told by Minister Petrusma to apply for ILC grants late last year.

“However, this process was halted – and organisations, their employers and thousands of people living with a disability are now left without certainty for their future.

“The Minister has not provided any assurance that approximately 18 organisations will all be provided ILC grants. She hasn’t even met with some of them.

“There is no guarantee that these organisations would receive sufficient or any funds if they are successful.

“Ninety-thousand Tasmanians aren’t eligible for the NDIS and their only option for support is to rely on services funded by the Tasmanian Government.

“People living with a disability need the support of advocacy services to assist with problems they face in many areas including health services, education, employment, housing and discrimination.”

Ms Siejka said there were serious questions for Mrs Petrusma to answer:

· What, if anything, has the Minister done to advocate to the NDIS for these organisations?

· Why has she not acted on the advice from the Federal Liberal Government to step in and help these organisations?

· Will the organisations be offered interim funding? Will this funding be enough for services to continue their work in full?

· How will the needs of the 90,000 Tasmanians living with a disability, who are not eligible for the NDIS, be met?

· Will the Minister commit to funding all current advocacy services for Tasmanians living with a disability?

/Public Release. View in full here.