Help Disability Advocacy to Survive in Queensland

Media Release “Advocacy Matters”

Combined Advocacy Groups of Queensland (CAGQ)

27 October 2017

 

People with disability in Queensland are angry.  The Queensland Government plans to stop funding advocacy on 1 July 2019.

Nine advocacy organisations across Queensland  receive in total less than $2m annually.    For many years, state governments have funded independent  advocacy to defend the rights of people with disability.

The choice to withdraw funding is a retreat from this commitment.

Independent advocacy addresses discrimination, abuse and neglect.   It protects the rights and interests of people who do not have a voice or anyone else who can speak on their behalf.

Independent advocacy addresses inequities in state service systems: health, housing, criminal justice, child safety, transport and education.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme does not fund advocacy, and the majority of people with disabilities are not eligible for the NDIS anyway.

“This decision will mean an increased cost to Government and taxpayers, as recent research has shown that every dollar used by Australia’s independent disability advocacy agencies delivers $3.50 worth of benefits – a huge return on investment for the entire Australian community” said Ms Di Toohey, a Brisbane-based advocate.

The Combined Advocacy Groups of Queensland call on the State Government to maintain, at a minimum, the current level of funding to independent advocacy representing Queenslanders with disability, beyond June 2019.    This is a crucial to enacting government’s recently announced vision “All Abilities Queensland: Opportunities for All”. Without support for their voices, this vision risks being simply window dressing” says Ms Toohey.