South Australians launch campaign to Keep Disability SA

South Australians launch campaign to Keep Disability SA

The Marshall State Government recently announced their intention to privatise disability services in supported community accommodation.

Today hundreds of workers, families, friends, and South Australians supported by government disability services will meet to launch their joint campaign “Keep Disability SA”.

Keep Disability SA is a coalition of families, friends, employees, their union United Voice, and South Australians supported by government disability services.

Government disability services provide stable, individualised and superior quality support services in South Australia.

Dr Neisha K Wratten’s son George currently lives in supported community accommodation.

“The State Government is proposing to change my son’s routines and environment, to take away his sense of security and put his future in doubt, all for a Ministerial thought bubble.

“It’s not good enough.”

Workers in these services typically support some of the highest needs people living with disabilities that many non-government providers lack the facilities, expertise or willingness to support.

Privatisation of services would lead to serious consequences, such as a significant limitation in choice, the loss of specialized services, a lack of continuity for people living with disabilities, the loss of 1500-1700 experienced and skilled workers in a sector plagued by chronic staffing shortages, and over 500 people being forced into a private sector that has demonstrated it is incapable of meeting their complex needs.

United Voice Branch Secretary David Di Troia said, “People living with disabilities, their families, workers and their representatives were not consulted about this ideological decision prior to the announcement.

”The Government now claims they are ‘consulting’ with affected family members. However, this weak attempt will only involve a grand total of 24 family members, out of the thousands of family members whose loved ones are currently supported by these services.

“The State Government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone in our society has access to secure and supported accommodation.

“They also have a responsibility to provide secure and stable employment to the workers who provide these vital services, which has not been our experience of the private sector.

“We call on the State Government to reverse their decision to privatise disability services, and commit to delivering high quality services to South Australians in to the future.”

Media are invited to a campaign launch at 11:30am at the Thebarton Community Centre

(Corner of South Road and Ashwin Parade, Torrensville)

United Voice represents thousands of South Australians who work in government disability services.

/Public Release.