Proponents, however, note that the funding pledge is more of a stop-gap measure than a long-term commitment
Disabled groups in Queensland have welcomed the state government’s decision to extend advocacy funding. US $ 8.1 million was committed over the next two years.
Disability Aid Secretary Craig Crawford made the funding announcement last week after the sector raised concerns Thousands of people with disabilities could be left without support when advocacy funding ended in June this year.
Minister Crawford also attended one Rally for the advocacy of the disabled last Wednesday in front of the parliament building, in which more than 200 people called for financial security.
The QLD Disability Advocacy Alliance thanked the government for the promise, but noted that it was more of a stop-gap measure in support of the sector until an ongoing funding model for advocacy was developed.
Alliance spokesman Geoff Rowe, CEO of ADA Australia, told Pro Bono News that he was relieved that stakeholders could now proceed without radically reducing service delivery and laying off nearly 100 people.
“The alliance is grateful that the government has decided to continue funding for two years,” said Rowe.
“We are now looking to work with governments to formalize the direction for advocacy for people with disabilities in Queensland.
“Both the Commonwealth and the state have funded advocacy services for people with disabilities in the past. We believe both jurisdictions have a responsibility to continue funding these services. “
Funding for the disability advocacy has been an ongoing battle for disability groups in recent years, and many state and territory governments have been reluctant to fund legal services as part of the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance System.
In New South Wales, interest groups recently won a long-contested campaign Advocacy funding to continue for the next three years.
The Queensland government says decisions about longer-term advocacy funding will be guided by a new national strategy for people with disabilities due later this year, as well as a federal government demand and gap analysis for independent advocacy and decision-making support.
Rowe said the alliance looks forward to working with governments to develop a sustainable advocacy funding model that supports all disabled Queenslanders, not just NDIS participants.
He said proponents also need to figure out how that $ 8.1 million will be distributed across the sector.
“Our next step is to work with the government at the political and bureaucratic levels to get clarity on funding in the short term, but also to get really strong engagement in the long term,” he said.
“And that includes working with both levels of government.”
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