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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14682


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (13:56): On the International Day of People with Disability, I offer the deep sorrow and sympathy of all of us in this place to the victims of the senseless shooting that has occurred in San Bernardino, California, at a centre assisting people with developmental disability.

I rise to pay tribute to Australians with disability, their carers and the people who love them. I am pleased to announce that a Labor government will provide an additional $2 million in funding a year to peak disability advocacy organisations. Australians with disabilities and their advocates spent decades seeking an end to the exile of neglect and national indifference, the second-class life imposed on our fellow Australians. These advocates have fought for peace of mind for ageing parents, awake at midnight worrying who will love and care for their child with disability when they no longer can. Their courage and their resolve helped make the National Disability Insurance Scheme real.

Independent advocacy for people with disability will only become more important as the NDIS rollout continues. Organisations like Blind citizens Australia, brain injury Australia and Deaf Australia and peak bodies like the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and Disability Advocacy Network Australia have dedicated years to protecting the rights and upholding the interests of Australians with disability. We commend and salute them today and every day.