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Monday, 29 November 2004
Page: 20

Mrs DRAPER (1:46 PM) —Mr Speaker, I congratulate you on your election to such high office. I rise to speak today in support of the aims of a group of parents and community leaders who have formed Dignity for the Disabled to lobby the government of South Australia for more support for intellectually disabled people. For too long, the Rann Labor government has ignored the plight of the disabled and their families. That is why these community based groups have taken the unprecedented step of organising a very public campaign to demand that their needs be heard on North Terrace.

Group leader David Holst and other parents have raised in the vicinity of $100,000 for their campaign, which demonstrates the seriousness and urgency of the situation, particularly for the Moving On program. The program was designed as a day-stay program which provides social interaction and self-development for school leavers. It used to be five days a week, but this had been cut back to three and even fewer due to underfunding by the state government. While Minister Jay Weatherill has made an announcement, probably only because of adverse publicity, to now fund it five days a week, this performance is not good enough.

Most people would find it difficult to imagine how stressful daily life is for the parents of children who require around-the-clock care, and, to make it even harder, these are not small children but grown adults. The level of stress is magnified by the fact that this supervision is needed seven days a week for anything up to 30 or 40 years. According to David Holst, there are 330 people on the waiting list for urgent intellectual disability services council residential care. Premier Rann and his government must take immediate action to remedy this situation. (Time expired)