Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

States Reluctant To Commit to Extra Disability Funding

Today I have again written to the State and Territory Disability Ministers asking them to outline their funding commitments for a third five-year Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement.

The Commonwealth has put an offer on the table worth $2.8 billion over 5 years.

This offer includes the extra $125 million that the Commonwealth announced on
28 June 2002 that it would be happy to put into the Agreement.

Over 2 months have now passed without any response from the States and Territories on what they are willing commit.

The disability sector desperately needs this money and the Commonwealth wants them to have it.

The States and Territories seem more interested in playing the political game of blaming the Commonwealth rather than engaging in good faith negotiations.

I am now urging the State and Territory Disability Ministers to match the Commonwealth’s offer and publicly commit to the extra funding.

The State Ministers need to act quickly because the disability sector needs certainty and wants these extra funds.