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12/04/2024
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ACT in Focus by Jo Huxley, April 2024

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12/04/2024
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Tasmanian candidates respond to NDS election platform

A person in a wheelchair laughs along with their support person as they sit in a park

20/03/2024

NDS thanks all members who supported our call for commitments from the state political parties in the Tasmanian State Election on 23 March. Below we report on the responses we have received from candidates.

This election is a crucial chance for parties to commit to state government policies that strengthen the disability support sector and create an inclusive Tasmania where all people live safely and equitably.

NDS called on all candidates and political parties to make commitments across key disability policy areas.

Key issues for the state election

Our Top Five Priorities are:

  1. Increase peak body funding to support high quality services
  2. Support the implementation of safeguarding initiatives
  3. Develop a skilled, capable, and sustainable disability workforce
  4. Foundational Supports — a joined-up ecosystem of support
  5. A Tasmanian Social Procurement Framework.

Download Top 5 Priorities [pdf]

Download Top 5 Priorities [doc]

Commitments thus far

Tasmanian Liberal Party

NDS met Disability Minister Jo Palmer on 19 February to discuss the disability sector’s priorities for the election. NDS has continued to speak to Minister Palmer throughout this election campaign.

Minister Palmer has confirmed that following their announcement to provide a funding boost to community services industry, NDS would receive some ongoing funding to support sector development over the next four years however at an indexation rate that is unfortunately below the rate that NDS and numerous community services advocated for.

The Liberal Party have not committed to any other NDS election priorities to support providers. They remain focused on pre-election commitments, such as the Disability Inclusion Bill, which includes funding for a Tasmanian Disability Commissioner.

Tasmanian Labor Party

On 29 February, Shadow Minister Luke Edmunds attended our Disability Royal Commission listening session, where he heard Tasmanian providers’ concerns. We later met the Shadow Minister to discuss disability sector election priorities and explain the complex reform environment.

On 20 March, Shadow Minister Edmunds pledged Labor’s support for:

  • Election priority one — Core funding uplift to $300,000 per year for the next five years.
  • Election priority five — Development of a Social Procurement Framework

Under their Building better communities under Labor, the Tasmanian Labor Party have committed to indexation of four per cent for one year, along with commitment to work with the industry to develop a framework for fairer funding before the next budget.

Labor has committed to five-year funding contracts and outcomes-based frameworks.

Tasmanian Green Party

On 13 March, NDS meet with disability portfolio holder for the Greens and Member for Clark, Vica Bayley MP. Vica provided the following response:

“As the Greens’ Disability spokesperson, I am pleased to be able to indicate the Greens are supportive of your priorities.

“The Greens support a rights-based approach to disability and acknowledge that the Government can and should invest a lot more into disability services and support.”

The Greens support:

  1. An additional $300,000 appropriately indexed each year, for five years, for peak body funding.
  2. $160,000 per year for the next three years to support the implementation of safeguarding initiatives.
  3. Government support to address workforce barriers, navigate imminent workforce reforms, and ensure the sector can fulfill its priority actions.
  4. Investment in mapping and gap analyses.
  5. Development of a social procurement framework.

The Greens have a range of other related policies, listed on their website, which include measures around disability access, transport and disaster management.

Other responses

NDS has sent our Tasmanian election requests to all election candidates, asking for their commitment. Please see exerts below, from those candidates who have responded:

Sue Hickey — Independent Candidate for Clark

“Through my role on the Board of OneCare, my position as Deputy Mayor of Glenorchy and other community involvements, and particularly with a partner living with long-term disabilities, I am aware of the work and importance of NDS and its member providers.

I have looked at your election priorities, as well as the NDS budget submission and have little hesitation in offering my full support for the top five priorities you have listed as well as for the requests outlined in the NDS budget submission.

“Particularly, I am fully supportive of providing organisations like NDS with funding certainty from government, and see a five-year term, with funding indexed, as highly appropriate. I will be seeking this for all NFPs to ensure surety of funding, the ability to plan for the future, and long-term viability of all those in the sector.

“The information contained in the State of the Disability Sector Report 2023 provided was indeed of great concern, with more organisations running deficits that are breaking even. This must be redressed as soon as possible, if we are to give the desired and necessary support to Tasmanians with disabilities, and hopefully our State can show the way.

“Lizzie, as mentioned, I am a great admirer of the work of NDS providers and the contribution they make to our society. If I am elected on March 23, you may be assured that National Disability Services – Tasmania will have a strong supporter and advocate in the Tasmanian parliament.”

Tamar Cordover – Independent Candidate for Franklin

“My beliefs are that we can embed inclusion, sustainability and accountability in governance and that we require an investment in infrastructure approach to Tasmania services and development.

“My election promise is to hear all the diverse needs of the community and to elevate those needs to government. To have a true democracy, our government must hear and respond to all diverse perspectives, and this includes hearing diverse perspectives from within the disability community.

“Thank you for providing details on the important work of the NDS. I have directly experienced ways in which the Tasmanian community benefits from the targeted and tireless work of NDS.

“I offer my support for investment in the NDS and support in full, the priorities and budget outline requested.

“As a community representative and an Independent Candidate with lived experience of disability, I am aware that the disability and social services community requires a leadership approach that is attentive and able to respond with flexibility to the needs of disability.

“In addition to the NDS requests, I support the establishment of a Tasmanian based Disability Legal Service, Justice Reform that included the embedding of a disability lens on the Justice System and Flexible Budgeting for Social Services, in order that our Peak Bodies and Community Institutions can have the directive to take action on issues of immediate need within the Community Services Sector.”

Joint response from:

Angela Triffitt - Independent Candidate for Clark and

Loueen Triffitt – Independent Candidate for Lyons

“Although we are family and are quite similar of position in many areas, there are some issues in which we differ.?However, the area of assisting those in our community with disabilities does not differ and our stand on this position is strong.

You have our support. We believe that people with disabilities should be able to have a life of opportunity and experience, based on their own decisions wherever possible.

“As a former senior public servant, I am well aware of the continued existence and amount of red tape that is required by not only people with disability but also required by an organisation when dealing with the bureaucracy. NDIS was supposed to decrease this area, in many aspects we don't believe this has happened. Our position would be to decrease the time, the effort, and the anguish caused by bureaucracy as well as reduced timelines for meeting the needs identified.  

“Accessibility is also an issue we hold dear, and would push government, whatever happens at the election, to increase Accessibility across Tasmania, including Accessibility to water, swimming and accessing our beaches our pools, and our lakes.”

James Redgrave – Jacquie Lambie Network – Candidate for Braddon

“I have had personal experience with NDIS since it’s inception. I would be willing to work with and support the great work you do.”

Jenny Branch-Allen – Independent Candidate for Lyons”

As one of the early?advocates for NDIS and my work with Carers Tasmania, as a past member of the Minister's advisory group for disabilities and my work in education I support all the work NDS does and fully support your priorities and submission.”

Kristie Johnston – Independent Candidate for Clark

“I support the important work of the disability sector and recognise the valuable contribution that people living with a disability make to our community both socially and economically. I have no hesitation in supporting your top 5 priorities.”

Carlo Di Falco – Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Candidate for Lyons

On 19 March, NDS spoke with Mr Di Falco, who emphatically supported our top 5 election priorities. Mr Falco discussed his passion for ensuring equitable treatment for all Tasmanians, regardless of the sports and recreational activities they choose.

Contact information
Lizzie Castles, State Manager Tasmania, 03 6212 7300, submit enquiry/feedback