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Disability funding package a start, but more needed.



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Media Statement Thursday 28th June 2007

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator QUEENSLAND’S ONLY INDEPENDENT VOICE IN THE SENATE

Disability funding package a start, but more needed

Democrats Deputy Leader Senator Andrew Bartlett welcomed the Prime Minster’s announcement of a $1.8 billion funding boost to disability services but says it should not obscure the fact that further funding is needed.

“The government’s commitment to funding areas such as respite care, specialist services for children with a disability and supported accommodation is a welcome relief,” Senator Bartlett said.

“The Democrats have been calling for concerted government action on these areas of unmet needs for years.

“However, the package doesn’t go anywhere near far enough and there is a risk that the new funding will not be targeted effectively.

“I also remain concerned that funding agreement has still not been reached on the new Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA). The federal government should be giving priority to strengthening the CSTDA and adopting the recommendations of last year’s Senate report to bring long-term sustainable improvement in this area.

“This newfound focus on unmet needs must be applauded, but the government must also listen to constructive advice on how to ensure they genuinely meet the long-term needs of people living with a disability and their carers,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au web: www.andrewbartlett.com