A Strong Voice for People with Disability

What will Labor do? 

Labor will provide an additional $2 million a year to peak disability advocacy organisations so people with disability have a powerful voice on the issues that matter to them. 

This funding will give certainty to peak disability advocacy organisations that had their funding slashed by the Liberals just before Christmas last year.  

It will also support new, start-up organisations to represent the interests of people with increasingly diverse types of disability. 

Why is this important?  

Labor firmly believes in the power of advocacy for people with disability. Sometimes it can be harder for people with disability to speak up on issues that affect them, or make decisions about their lives, such as accessing government services. People with disability are more vulnerable to abuse, neglect or denials of their rights.  

Independent advocacy organisations help people with disability ensure their rights are protected; help them make decisions about their lives; and make sure they get a say on issues that affect them. 

Many advocacy organisations fought for decades for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Because of them – and the tireless campaigning of people with disability and their families – the NDIS is now real. 

The NDIS will mean people with disability have choice and control over their own lives. As the NDIS rolls out across the country, advocacy services will become more important than ever.

That is why Labor will ensure people with disability have strong advocates, so that their voices and interests are never sidelined, ignored or forgotten. 

What is the Liberal Government’s record?  

The Liberal Government has done all it can to silence the voices of people with disability.  

First, they cut the funding for a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

Then, just before Christmas last year, they cut funding from peak disability advocacy organisations, throwing the sector into uncertainty.  

Organisations like Blind Citizens Australia, Deaf Australia, Down Syndrome Australia and the National Council on Intellectual Disability had their resources slashed. 

More recently, the Liberals have launched an attack on the Board of the NDIS, attempting to sideline people with disability in favour of their friends from big business. 

Under Labor, people with disability will be at the heart of every decision and debate that affects their lives.  

Who will this funding go to? 

This funding will go to peak disability advocacy organisations.  

These organisations have an important role to play advocating for the needs of people with disability. 

Unlike the Liberals, who have slashed funding for disability advocacy, we want to ensure people with disability have a strong voice on the issues that matter to them.   

Many of these organisations are already established, but as the NDIS rolls out and people with disability start exercising more choice and control over their lives, new organisations will also be needed to represent the interests of different people. 

A portion of this funding will go to these new start-up organisations, so that every person, no matter their disability, has a powerful voice.  

How will the funding be allocated? 

Labor is making this commitment after consultation with disability advocates. 

Upon election to Government, Labor will continue to talk to the sector and determine how best to allocate this funding. 

We want to see a sector made up of strong and diverse advocacy organisations. 

The process carried out by this government has not only resulted in a dramatic reduction in funding for many organisations, but has also been very complex and divisive for the sector.  

Labor will have a proper process of consultation to ensure the sector is vibrant and diverse.   

What will it cost? 

This policy has been independently costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.  

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

TOTAL

0.0

0.0

2.0

2.0

4.0


A printable PDF version of this fact sheet can be accessed by clicking here.