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Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Statement

Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, categorically rejects the allegations made in today’s Australian newspaper, that ‘if he had a child with a disability and it was going to cause stress he would get rid of it.’

Mr Cobb said he was deeply hurt and shocked that the sentiments he expressed at the meeting had been so deliberately misrepresented.

A meeting was held in Mr Cobb’s office on Tuesday 12 September with representatives from disability advocacy groups. A Ministerial Adviser was present at the meeting.

The group sought the meeting with Mr Cobb in relation to the review of the National Disability Advocacy Program being undertaken by the Government.

The review of the Program is taking place to ensure that advocacy services are targeted to people with disability in greatest need, and delivered efficiently and effectively.

During the meeting Mr Cobb said he was equally concerned for the families and carers of people with disabilities as those living with the disability.

As the father of seven daughters, Mr Cobb talked about the ups and downs that occurred in raising a large family.

He said he was not sure how he himself would handle the situation in a large family where a child had a severe disability, and the affect on the family.

Which was why he fully understood the pressures on parents and the rest of the family.

The Australian Government is providing around $12 million a year to 71 advocacy organisations across all states and territories. Some groups were concerned about losing their funding.

All disability advocacy groups will receive funding for a further eighteen months.