DISABILITY SERVICES — 2019–20 STATE
450. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Minister for
examining the budget today, I see that the Disability Services allocation—to
the extent that I can interpret it from this ever-changing budget—is
about $1.327 billion, but in the next year, 2020–21, it is about $1.078
billion, which is about $250 million less. Why is there a sudden drop-off in
funding for Disability Services in the out years?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
his ongoing interest in the disability portfolio.
I am very pleased with how
successful we have been in the 2019–20 budget and into the forward
estimates years. In fact, there has been an increase in funding for areas,
including advocacy. Members in this place would be very well aware that we
previously put extra money into systemic advocacy in this state. In this
budget, we have put extra money into individual advocacy, noting that as we
roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia, people
are having issues and difficulties with accessing appropriate funding in their
plans. We have ensured that there is extra
money in the budget to enable good organisations—such as People with
Disabilities WA; the Midland Information, Debt and Legal Advocacy
Service; and the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre—to work with people
with disability so that they can navigate the National Disability Insurance
Scheme. I am very, very pleased that we were able to put that in this year's
Hon Tjorn Sibma interjected.
PRESIDENT: Member, I was going to
give you the call, but I think I will give it to Hon Dr Steve Thomas now.