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Question about Disability Advocacy, March 2021

Question without Notice to the Minister for Seniors and Disability Services

Wednesday 24 March, 2021

Amy MacMahon:

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?

Craig Crawford:

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.

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