Berejiklian to reverse funding cuts to disability groups


Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Photo: AAP Image/Jeremy NgThe state government will reverse funding cuts to dozens of organisations that advocate for people with a disability, after sustained pressure from groups that faced collapse.

NSW had ruled out maintaining $13 million a year in funding for advocacy groups oncethe state government transfers its disability services spending to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in July.

The national scheme will give some people with a disability direct funding supportbut not for the groups who advocateon their behalf.

The cut was expected to wipe out up to50 NSW advocacygroups, including the 60-year-old NSW Council for Intellectual Disability.

But the groups have been thrown a lifeline with Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcingthat $26 million would be available for advocacy services until 2020.

Ms Berejiklian said the government was committed to transitioningsupport and services to the NDIS for people with disability.

“During a time of major change for people with disability, the NSW government is committed to making the transition to the NDIS as smooth as possible,” she said.

“We understand the transition has created concerns for people with disability and I want to assure the community we have been listening to those concerns.

“That is why we have set aside this funding. It will make sure people with disability can continue to access services and information, particularly in regional and rural communities.”

The government said the funding will address potential shortfalls for advocacy groups in the federal government’s Information, Linkages and Capacity building (ILC) grant program.

A key focus of the NSW funding will be on activities that support inclusion

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