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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Peak body funding

Commentary on the defunding of peak disability organisation continues, following its announcement just before Christmas:

Funding Cuts Closes Disability Orgs
ProBono News Australia, 5th January 2015
Peak disability support organisations have been forced to either close their doors or reduce services and retrench staff thanks to Federal Government funding cuts.

CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), Matthew Wright, said 10 peak organisations run by people with disability will be left with no choice but to either close their doors or reduce services, with seven organisations subject to drastic funding cuts by outgoing Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews.

Wright said he had requested an urgent meeting with new Social Services Minister Scott Morrison to discuss the funding cuts.

He said together the disability peak bodies represent over 90 per cent of Australians with disability and 83 per cent of the identified disability groups in Australia ...

Funding Cuts Threaten Our Voice
Purple Orange, 5th January 2015
... The defunded agencies provide leadership and voice for many people living with disability and their families, and it is hard to imagine how the views of these important demographics within the disability community will be fully heard and understood in the absence of grass roots agencies ... The apparent budget savings come at an unacceptable cost to the disability community and we urge the Commonwealth Government to reconsider.

National Ethnic Disabilty Alliance, 6th January 2015

Added 9/01/15: Graeme Innes has weighed in today, with this opinion piece in The Guardian:

Were disability advocacy groups too successful? It may explain their funding cuts
Graeme Innes, The Guardian, 9th January 2015
... 200 years of expertise will be lost when the money runs out in three month’s time; expertise that can never be regained. Their 200,000 supporters – people with disabilities who have the greatest need – will be further disadvantaged. The government will lose the benefit of this expert advice on issues as critical as income support for, and economic participation of, people with disabilities.

It’s hard to understand the reason for this funding cut. Is it the lack of importance to this government of expert advice on disability issues? Is it that these organisations were such good value for money that they were achieving too much change too quickly? Is it that the best way to silence government critics is to take away their money? Or is it just that they were collateral damage in the government’s continued cuts? ...

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