Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Enhancement of the National Disability Advocacy Program

People with a disability in regional Australia will have increased access to disability advocacy services, under proposed changes to the Australian Government’s National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP).

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb today proposed a series of changes in response to recommendations made by a consultation paper to improve the effectiveness of the Program.

‘The Australian Government provides $12 million to 71 advocacy services under the NDAP, to assist people with disability and their families to remain involved in their local community,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘Under the proposed changes, larger providers currently delivering NDAP will be asked to extend their services to meet the needs of people living in regional areas and increase the amount of individual advocacy available.’

Advocacy services provide support and guidance to help people with disability find and maintain accommodation and employment, and enable them to take an active role in their local community.

‘It is also important people with disability are aware of the services available for them and these proposed changes would mean better promotion of services, delivering them all under one name and introducing a telephone referral service,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘I recognise the enormous contribution made by families of people with disability and the Australian Government is committed to providing access to services which support these families.’

Current service providers could have their funding agreements extended for 18 months while the changes are being made to ensure continuity of service to people with disability.