State government hasty privatisation of disability services risks choice, standards of care and jobs
A community forum in Newcastle today has heard how the State government is using the introduction of the NDIS as an excuse to privatise disability services at a cost to choice, standards, jobs and conditions.
The State government has confirmed plans to outsource all public disability services to non-government providers by 2018.
Public Service Association of NSW Assistant Secretary, Steve Turner, said the privatisation of all disability services in NSW would destroy choice and services for people with a disability, their family and carers.
“The National Disability Insurance Scheme should improve services for people with a disability, yet privatisation removes the provider of choice for 40% of people with a disability in NSW,” Mr Turner said.
“There is no guarantee privatisation of public services will deliver better choice or outcomes for people with a disability, their families and carers.
“The community forum heard from Stockton parent Wendy Cuneo whose daughter moved back into a public group home after a non-government provider decided it could no longer offer service.
“The government-run services provide essential support and advice for people with high and/or complex needs and clients in regional areas and other locations where it is not economically viable to set up or provide a service.
“What happens to people with a disability when we lose the government safety net in 2018?
“There are too many unanswered questions left for all involved in disability services, clients and staff alike.
“Disability services are a key responsibility of government and it’s risky for the largest provider in the sector to fast-track the dismantling of existing services,
“Privatisation should not occur unless and until the Government can assure the community that not one person with a disability will be left worse off, and jobs and capacity exist to improve care for clients,” Mr Turner said.