Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Extra funding for disability advocacy agencies

Ten new regional areas will receive improved disability advocacy services following an announcement today from Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion.

‘A national review identified particular ‘hot-spots’ across the country that were in need of a boost in their disability advocacy coverage,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘Total funding of $1 million has been allocated from the 2007-08 Budget measure for the National Disability Advocacy Program from which existing disability advocacy agencies can apply to expand into the new regions.

‘In a new approach, one of the ten new areas to be serviced crosses the New South Wales and Victoria borders and includes Mildura and the Wentworth and Balranald Shires.

‘State borders have proven to be a barrier to people accessing disability advocacy services in the Sunraysia area, which is why we have identified this cross-border region as a new region to receive funding. This is an innovative approach and is one of the first times that cross-border communities have been considered together for funding.

‘Individual advocates help people with disability overcome barriers like discrimination and physical access so they can fully participate in the community.

‘The ten regions identified for the new funding have been selected based on population, level of service coverage, and to ensure a good cross section of jurisdictions to expose NDAP funded agencies to a competitive selection process.

‘The Australian Government views advocacy services as vital for people with disability and it is through strong economic management that we are able to make much needed investments in these areas,’ Senator Scullion said.

Regional Areas identified for new or expanded advocacy service

  • NSW: Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Nambucca Shires
  • NSW: Goulburn Mulwaree Council area and Wingecarribee Shire
  • NSW: Great Lakes, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie areas
  • Queensland: Burnett Shire and Bundaberg City Council area
  • Queensland: Hervey Bay and Maryborough City Council areas
  • South Australia: City of Mount Gambier
  • Victoria: Moorabool, Hepburn and Golden Plains Shires
  • Victoria: Mildura Rural City Council, Wentworth and Balranald Shires
  • Western Australia: Broome and Derby-West Kimberley Shires
  • Northern Territory: Funded advocacy agencies will be invited to work with FaCSIA to identify areas of need.