National Ethnic Disability Alliance welcomes the Australian Budget outcomes for the disability community.
The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) welcomes the outcomes of the 2023-24 Australian Budget for the disability community.
The Budget includes important initiatives that will support people with disability, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The disability community has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these measures will help to alleviate some of the challenges faced by people with disability in Australia.
The following measures are particularly significant:
• An additional $1.4 billion over four years for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), providing additional support to around 70,000 people with disability.
• $57 million over four years to support the mental health of people with disability, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
• $30 million over four years for the Disability Information Helpline, which provides information and referrals to people with disability and their families, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
• $100 million over four years for disability employment services, including programs to support people with disability to find and keep a job.
• $3.5 billion to further support GP’s, bulkbilling, and Medicare in general.
NEDA particularly welcomes the focus on supporting people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This includes funding for culturally appropriate mental health services and the Disability Information Helpline, which provides support in over 170 languages.
NEDA welcomes the further investment in some of our most vulnerable people those who will continue to live in poverty but with slightly better resources via the extra supports for Job Seeker, Newstart and Youth allowance, this extra funding and supports will help but will not fully alleviate the burden of poverty.
We are encouraged the Government’s commitment to the NDIS and the statement by the treasurer that the NDIS is here to stay under a Labor Government, this along with the ongoing measures to further support the findings of the Disability Royal Commission and the National Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The further investment in the APS workforce is welcomed news, this strengthening of the workforce with ensure a stronger NDIS offering greater diversity and continuity within the scheme.
NEDA acknowledges that there is still much work to be done to ensure that people with disability, particularly those from diverse cultural backgrounds, receive the support they need. However, the measures announced in the Budget are an important step forward in addressing the inequities faced by the disability community in general.
We look forward to working with the Australian Government to ensure that the needs of people with disability are met and that all Australians have access to the support they need to live full and meaningful lives.