Question without Notice to the Minister for Seniors and Disability Services
Wednesday 24 March, 2021
My question is to the Minister for Seniors and Disability Services. According to disability advocates, the funding the minister announced yesterday for disability advocacy services represents a cut of over $1 million over two years from current funding. These services are already overwhelmed by demand. If this is the case, why has this funding been reduced?
I think I addressed this earlier in my ministerial statement, but I am happy to go over it again for the member. Back in 2017 as we were moving into the NDIS there was a decision made by government to maintain what we call base funding for advocacy services—that was $8.1 million—and that would run through to mid-2021. During the NDIS rollout last year in Queensland, and of course subsequently because of COVID-19, there was a top-up of around one-point-something million dollars that was put in there to help the sector with that advocacy work. Most of it has been done.
Right now we are in a position where we are negotiating with the federal government around what advocacy funding looks like across this country—not just in Queensland, but across all states. That work is underway. I addressed that in my ministerial statement. I said that work is very early and we need to do that work with the Commonwealth. In the meantime, as I said before, we have committed to another two years of base funding of $8.1 million to the sector. I think I answered the question in my ministerial statement.