MEDIA RELEASE: Member Update – Taxi subsidy to continue post 30 June for another year

Queenslanders with Disability Network welcomes the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement to ensure the Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants continues post 30 June 2019 for another year. QDN members and our supporters have raised our concerns with both State and Commonwealth Governments about the unresolved

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2019 Federal Election: Disability policies from the Parties

QDN’s election platform is based on feedback from QDN members, including our Local Support Groups and engagement with people with disability and their families whilst delivering key projects.  Our election policy platform identifies seven key areas of priority commitment we are seeking from candidates in the Federal Election.  QDN’s election platform identifies seven key priority areas.

  1. The National Disability Insurance Scheme
  2. Royal Commission into violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability
  3. Housing
  4. Transport
  5. Health
  6. Employment
  7. National Disability Agreement and National Disability Strategy

We have provided links below to the information that key political parties have provided around their disability policies.  From the information that QDN has had available at the time of publishing, we have identified the following parties have specific disability plans and policies for disability;

  • Australian Greens Party;
  • Australian Labor Party (ALP);
  • Liberal Party; and
  • National Party

In reviewing the election commitments, these four parties have identified a range of actions and commitments that align in varying degrees to QDN’s election policy platform asks across the 7 priority areas, but particularly around the NDIS. There are a range of commitments to funding that the ALP and the Liberal National Party have made in their policy documents across a range of areas.

QDN Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Nigel Webb said, “QDN works with all parties to help establish policies that will deliver full inclusion and participation of people with disability in economic, social, civic and cultural spheres of life.”

Quick links to Party Platform documents

The Federal Election is on this Saturday 18 May 2019. For information on voting click here.

The links below take you to the party websites where their policy commitments are contained where they have specific policies on disability. Because these parties have put out detailed and extensive documents, QDN has not provided a summary of election commitments by party.

If you would like further information or want to find out something specific, please call QDN on 1300 363 783 or email us qdn@qdn.org.au

Quick Links

 Policy links on the Labor Party Disability Plans

Link to Liberal Party disability plan

Link to National Party disability plan

Policy links to The Australian Greens party disability statements

 

QDN Member Profile – Paul Larcombe

Paul is a QDN member and he is standing as a candidate for the Australian Senate.  We caught up with Paul recently and this is what he said.

Photo of Paul Larcombe in a blue business shirt smiling at the camera. There is a van behind him.
QDN Member Paul Larcombe

One of my favourite quotes comes from George Bernard Shaw: “You see things as they are and say, “Why?” I dream things that never were and say, “Why not?”

Please tell us about yourself and the work you have done previously?

“I grew up in Northern New South Wales in a small town with no services or understanding of disability and it was difficult.  I had very poor and deteriorating eye sight from birth, but it wasn’t untill I was eight that I was put on a train and sent to the Royal Far West Home in Sydney for a proper diagnosis. There in a world of shadows and strangers, I was sexually abused and physically assaulted, but somehow I survived and it made me stronger and even more resilient and determined to do what I could to help others.

I have more than 25 years’ experience working with disability related issues. I have worked in Commonwealth policy affecting national standards in public transport, education and the built environment. I have worked with the Queensland Government on a variety of issues facing Queenslanders with a disability and their families. At the local government level, I facilitated grass roots engagement between the disability sector and local government on issues such as access to the built environment and transport infrastructure.  I have been Community Adviser, for the Brisbane region, to the Queensland state Minister for Disability Services and I have worked in this and the State role for fifteen years.

Can you give us a brief overview of your journey as a candidate for the Australian Senate, representing Queensland and the people of Australia?

Well I would have to say it’s been most interesting.  I haven’t been campaigning for two years and unlike Mr Palmer I don’t have $60 million with which to buy votes.  I am a man of modest means.  It’s been a learning curve and if you’re outside the professional parties it’s very hard to get noticed but perhaps, just perhaps with the support of the disability sector we might have a chance to help bring integrity, honesty and common sense to our Parliament. To serve you, not myself, and to be your Queensland voice in the Senate.

What were the catalysts that made you decide to stand as an independent for the Queensland Senate seat?

I was sitting around last year talking with my family and I started complaining that no one with a lived experience of disability was entering politics to influence positive change. My family was over my complaining I think and simply said; “You are that someone!”

I think I have had some good background that is helping though. I influenced the establishment of the Disability Councel of Queensland (DCQ), in its current form. I am hoping to continue this grass roots influencing of government policy and law making as an Independent Senator for Queensland.

What are the important issues you will work to address if successful in winning a Senate seat?

Clearly, disability reform and better disability service delivery would be my number 1 focus. Having people with the lived experience of disability and its debilitating effects at the top table, especially in the NDIA that runs the NDIS. The NDIS is a great scheme that has finally given us the hope of equity, justice and better services BUT it’s not working properly and many people are even worse off!  There has been a significant underspend – that by next year could total $3.7 billion – that’s just wrong.

In Queensland, we have to stop the buck-passing between State and Federal governments over health care for our community and crucial things like the taxi/transport subsidy that sees our people go without.  My pledge is to work for this country, with all people, to ensure we have a future and to always act with honesty, integrity, transparency and solely in YOUR interests. You can read more of my positions and approaches at www.paullarcombe.com.au

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work – the goals you hold personally?

The Declaration on Social Progress and Development, adopted in 1969, by the United Nations, has this to say about social justice. “From the comprehensive global perspective shaped by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, neglect of the pursuit of social justice in all its dimensions translates into de facto acceptance of a future marred by violence, repression and chaos.”  This is a bold statement that I have been working my entire career to insure will not happen in the circles of influence that I have been privileged to been involved with. So, my primary goal is social justice.

  • I would intend to approach everything from this perspective – Don’t ever forget who elected you for I am simply their voice.
  • Always ask; “What is the best outcome for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of people?”
  • Base decisions on common sense and the facts and always act with integrity and honesty.

What are 3 important things you think need to happen for people with disability to achieve more social and economic participation in the community?

The top three important areas for change to bring about a more inclusive society for people with disabilities would be:

  1. A fully funded NDIS with commitment to all money allocated to be quarantined. A lifting of the cap on employment in the NDIA, to relieve the bottleneck of plans and payments.
  2. A renewed focus on better working relationships between State Government and Federal Government, so things like the TSS is not lost in the transfers of NDIS funding. An overhaul of the NDS and the NDA to make these two documents the paramount references to inform the development of disability policy in Australia.
  3. A more integrated approach between Federal and State Government on Health, Housing, Employment and Transport.

These four main drivers of integration in Australian Social society are the key stones of full and active participation as citizens. All levels of government need to commit to investment in creating world class facilities and programmes to make Australia truly the lucky country.

 

QDN welcomes ALP commitment to fund remote housing in Queensland and calls on the Liberal Party to do the same

QDN welcomes the Australian Labor Party (ALP) announcement of a ten year, $1.5 billion investment in housing in the remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to address overcrowding, and the lack of safe and healthy housing options in Queensland’s remote communities.   The ALP also pledge to develop a new COAG partnership on remote housing.

QDN CEO Paige Armstrong said “the last national partnership agreement expired on 30 June 2018, and since then we have been very concerned by the lack of a coordinated approach at Commonwealth level to delivering this essential infrastructure. Depending on the election outcome, this funding will provide a level of certainty around the future of housing in remote communities.  These communities have been in limbo for a long time”. QDN calls on the Liberal Party to make the same level of commitment to housing funding in remote communities.

QDN has a strong history of taking leadership on many key issues and policy reforms, which impact upon people with disability.  Housing has consistently been identified as the number one priority amongst QDN’s statewide members.

In QDN’s position paper released in 2017, Going for Gold: Accessible, Affordable Housing Now QDN recommended actions that could be taken then by Government (under recommendation 11) that address the housing needs of rural and remote Queenslanders, including people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.  “Housing is a fundamental need and human right and is key to enabling people with disability to be included in community and family life, and to participate fully as citizens within Australian society,” said Paige Armstrong today.

Through QDN’s work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland (ATSIDNQ) QDN knows first-hand from members that access to safe and accessible housing is critical if Queensland is going to have a chance at closing the gap in critical areas such as employment, health, and education.

Media Contact: Paige Armstrong, QDN CEO – 0408 720 099

MEDIA RELEASE: Local Dickson candidates to attend ‘Disability Matters’ community forum today

Almost one in five Queenslanders are living with disability. It is a critical issue for thousands of Australians.

This week marks a National Day of Action to ensure that the NDIS is at the top of the agenda this federal election.

Local residents and members of the media are invited to attend today’s (Tuesday April 30) community forum at Strathpine Community Centre to discuss how the future Federal Government can lead with a vision of a more inclusive society.

Local candidates will be given a platform to explain why disability matters to them, and the disability platform that they bring to the electorate.

Attendees will have the opportunity to propose questions to candidates in a Q&A-style forum about why disability matters and hear how the candidate will prioritise disability if elected.

What: ‘Disability Matters’ community forum with Dickson candidates

When: 4:30pm-6:30pm on April 30, 2019

Where: Tom Petrie Room, Strathpine Community Centre
199 Gympie Rd, Strathpine QLD 4500

More details: https://qdn.org.au/events/dickson/

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Geoff Rowe or Paige Armstrong (details below).

___________________________________

Event contacts

Geoff Rowe, ADA Australia CEO

M: 0474 774 273

Paige Armstrong, Queenslanders with Disability Network CEO

M: 0408 720 099

E-Blast: QDN 2019 Federal Election Advocacy Kit

QDN is pleased to release to our members and supporters our QDN 2019 Federal Election Advocacy Kit. The advocacy kit summarises QDN’s position in seven key priority areas for the Federal election on the 18 May 2018 to assist you in any conversations that you may have with candidates about the important issues for Queenslanders with disability. These seven priority areas include:

Priority 1 – The National Disability Insurance Scheme

Priority 2 – Royal Commission into violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability (the Royal Commission)

Priority 3 – Housing

Priority 4 – Transport

Priority 5 – Health

Priority 6 – Employment

Priority 7 – National Disability Agreement and National Disability Strategy

These have been developed from direct feedback from QDN’s 2000 strong members and supporters as well as our direct project work with people with disability. The Advocacy Kit also contains useful strategies to lobby candidates who are all eager for your vote. It is vital that we strive to get a better deal for people with disability across a number of key portfolio areas of government.

QDN would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and supporters for informing our key messages and encourages everyone in the coming weeks to get involved, and share QDN’s key messages with candidates in your electorate and the wider community. If anyone would like further information, please call QDN on: 1300 363 783.

Useful Links in Word:

Click here for the QDN Election Advocacy Kit

Click here for the QDN Election Platform

 

QDN’s 2019 Federal Election Policy Platform

QDN has released our 2019 Federal Election Policy Platform.  QDN’s election platform is based on feedback from QDN members, including our Local Support Groups and engagement with people with disability and their families whilst delivering key projects.

Our election policy platform identifies seven key areas of priority commitment we are seeking from candidates in the Federal Election, which has been called for 18 May.  We are asking the future Australian Government to lead with vision, to listen and act together with Queenslanders with disability and the community.

To access QDN’s Federal Election Platform in Word click here.
To access QDN’s Federal Election Platform in Pdf click here

 

 

 

Member update – Commissioners for Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Former Federal Court judge Ronald Sackville AO QC has been appointed the Chair of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. He will be assisted

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