The O’Farrell government will withdraw completely from disability services by 2018, leaving people with a disability in NSW at risk, according to the NSW Public Service Association.
Assistant Secretary Steve Turner said the State government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NSW Enabling) Bill cuts critical public disability support services.
“People with some of the most complex disabilities and in need of greatest care will be at most risk from the government’s abdication of responsibility,” Mr Turner said.
“Premier O’Farrell is using the introduction of the NDIS as a Trojan horse for a cut to the choice and quality of services available to support people with a disability and their families in NSW,” Ms Gardiner said today.
“Barry O’Farrell was the first state premier in Australia to sign the NDIS agreement. However, it now seems his real agenda was to abandon the government’s responsibility for meeting the needs of people with a disability.
“The wholesale outsourcing of disability services will not deliver better services nor choice for people with a disability, their families and carers.
“In fact, history suggests the privatisation of public services has not offered a better service when it comes to providing complex social services.
“The changes to disability services in NSW will decrease accountability, cost more money in the long run and deliver no guarantee of matching the high level of support offered by ADHC’s professional staff.
“Our members tell us clients with complex or difficult needs are already often transferred back to the public system. Where will they go when this system has been dismantled?
“The critical impacts of the privatisation of disability support have not been fully explained to the community or opened for a transparent public debate.
“The dismantling of the public disability support system will only increase pressure on non-government providers by removing critical existing infrastructure, specialist services and key choices currently available to people with a disability.
“The O’Farrell government should withdraw this contentious Bill and aim to improve services by building on existing services, including investment in ADHC and its professional staff,” he said.