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Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Page: 680


Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:44): Vision Australia Radio provide a vital service to vision impaired people across the country. Right now they currently receive some federal government funding, but, because of the rollout of the NDIS and the change to how people are funded, this service is now at risk. Block funding grants that they used to rely upon to run this service no longer exist. Without urgent assistance from the federal government this vital service will close. Why do we care? They currently maintain 10 Vision Australia Radio stations across Australia, including in parts of regional Australia. They have a station based in my electorate. They are staffed by volunteers who read out local stories, local content and local news for our vision impaired community. This service is vital. Many in my community argue that it keeps them connected with their local community. It's quality radio. Everyone should have access to listening. Everyone should have access to news. Everyone should have access to local stories, regardless of their ability.

I urge the government to get behind Vision Australia and increase their funding so that they do not become another casualty of the NDIS rollout. Quality services like this need to continue to exist so that the vision impaired living in regional communities can continue to know the local stories.