Turnbull Government investing $60 million in disability advocacy

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services
  • The Hon. Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services

People with disability across Australia will benefit from $60 million in Australian Government funding to continue support for disability advocacy services.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, today announced ongoing funding for the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Appeals providers and a new funding round for Disability Representative Organisations (DRO).

This substantial Commonwealth commitment ensures disability advocacy services will now continue to be funded until 30 June 2020.

Minister Porter said the importance of advocacy services for all Australians with disability was highlighted in the Review of the National Disability Advocacy Program, Consultation Report, released today.

“All levels of government have a responsibility to support advocacy for people with disability to ensure they can exercise their rights and freedoms,” Minister Porter said.

“The vast majority of people requiring disability advocacy support will not be NDIS participants.

“All governments have committed to the National Disability Strategy (NDS) and that is why the Turnbull Government is committed to investing in this area through $60 million in funding for NDAP, NDIS appeals, and the DROs.”

A national system of disability advocacy support also requires ongoing investment from states and territories to ensure their citizens can resolve issues with state-run services, and advocates can participate effectively in state-based planning.

“We welcome Victoria’s ongoing commitment to longer-term action and investment to ensure a strong and sustainable disability advocacy and self-advocacy sector,” Minister Porter said.

“The Commonwealth calls on other states and territories to meet their commitments to people with disability through the NDS by committing to ongoing support for advocacy under the NDIS.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, said the funding extensions will ensure skilled, appropriate advocacy services are accessible to those who need them most.

Advocacy reforms will be phased in over the next two years and will include:

  • a move to a more person centred approach;
  • improved coordination of people’s systemic issues;
  • a greater focus on helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability; and
  • improved reporting of advocacy outcomes.

“We will continue to engage with the states and territories, and the disability sector to enhance the future advocacy approach for these programs to improve outcomes for people with disability and the community,” said Mrs Prentice.

The Review of the National Disability Advocacy Program, Consultation Report is available on engage.dss.gov.au