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Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Page: 14196


Ms LAMB (Longman) (10:36): I'm really proud of my community. It's a community where people have a go. Regardless of their economic status, who their parents are or whether or not they have a disability, they have a go. In fact, many people living with a disability in our community have accomplished so, so much. Disability advocates like Bill, Matt, Cody and Trish are some of the strongest voices in our community, and others, like Shane, go about their day without letting anything hold them back. Each of these people is strong and courageous, but each of them needs our support from time to time, which is why Labor established the NDIS back in 2013. Despite difficulties from the Liberal government, the NDIS has finally made its way to the Moreton Bay region, as of January this year.

But, further than that, we must support students with disability through their schooling. Every Australian child should be able to go to any Australian school that they want to. That's why I'm so proud of today's announcement by the shadow minister for education, Tanya Plibersek. It's an announcement that commits an extra $300 million investment to ensure that students with a disability get the support they need in school. The number of students assessed as eligible for disability funding in Australia has doubled, from 220,000 to around 450,000. While our state Labor government is doing some great work in this space, like building the new Caboolture State High Special School, one of only three such schools in Queensland, the federal Liberal government is letting these students down. Despite the need doubling, funding under the Liberals has increased by only about seven per cent. This means students with a disability are missing out, and that is simply not good enough. We are letting these students down.

Labor's extra funding will deliver individualised learning for students with a disability by paying for more teachers, more teacher aids, more teacher training, updated technology and accessibility upgrades for our schools, and, like I said, it doesn't matter which school you choose to send your child to. But just as importantly, schools must be accountable for how the extra investment improves education for these students. This $300 million investment is designed to make sure that students with a disability can reach their full potential in any school system, and it comes in addition to the disability loading and Labor's record investment in local schools. The government has neglected students with disabilities, dragged its feet on the disability royal commission and bungled elements of the NDIS for people living with a disability. These people deserve much better.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr McVeigh ): Before I call the member for Calare, I'd like to state that, if no member present objects, three-minute constituency statements may continue for a total of 60 minutes.