State Government shunning responsibility for disability access

The future of a program, which aims to develop new ways of including people with disability in the life of their communities, is uncertain after the State Government removing its funding, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.

Funding for the Rural Access program ceased in July, with the Federal government stepping in to provide funding until June 2019.

But Mrs Britnell said after that, the future is uncertain as the transition to the NDIS continues.

Rural Access works in partnership with local organisations, businesses and the broader community to develop new ways of including people with disability in the life of their communities.

Mrs Britnell said in South West Coast Rural Access co-ordinators have worked to established programs like beach wheelchairs, scooter-charging points, the welcoming business program as well as lists of accessible accommodation providers.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Mrs Britnell called on Minister for Housing Disability and Ageing Martin Foley to reinstate the funding as a matter of urgency.

“This is a government that purports to be making things fair and putting people first, but I am struggling to see how wrapping up funding for important positions like this is doing that,” she said.

“The Labor government must not wash its hands of the disability sector, especially when we are talking about ensuring people with a disability are able to be involved in the communities in which they live.

“The state government has a responsibility to stay involved in the disability space and should not be rushing to shift its disability services. State governments still have a role to play, and that responsibility should not be shirked.”

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