National and state disability groups have come together to campaign against proposed cuts to the Mobility Allowance for people with disability, and today released a joint statement outlining their concerns.
‘Over 25 different groups, from across Australia, are united in opposing these cuts to vital transport funding for people with disability,’ Ms Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager, People with Disability Australia and representative of DPO Australia, said.
‘The changes, put forward by the Federal Government, will leave many people with disability without access to the transport they need to go to work, get an education and be a part of their communities.’
The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016 will restrict access to transport funding to only those eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are approximately two million people with disability of working age, but only 460,000 will be transitioning to the NDIS. This means that this Bill will impact many people with disability who will not have access to the NDIS, including people over the age of 65.
‘The Mobility Allowance goes some way to address the additional expenses for people with disability who can’t access public transport. This small amount recognises that for many people with disability, current transport is often not accessible, forcing them to rely on taxis,’ Ms French said.
‘People with disability need more access to transport, not less. Until the Government can provide a public transport system that is accessible for all people, transport support for people with disability who are forced to use other means is essential. The current allowance should be increased, not cut as this Bill proposes.
‘We are also concerned that this Bill sets a precedent for further cuts to essential disability supports by restricting access to them only to people with disability who are eligible for the NDIS.
“All of our organisations, and the many people with disability we represent, call on Senators to vote no on this Bill and make sure that people with disability can access the transport they need to be part of the community.’
The joint statement is available on the PWDA website.
El Gibbs, Communications and Media Manager, People with Disability Australia
0408 682 867
The groups supporting the statement are:
- Australian Blindness Forum
- Blind Citizens Australia
- Capricorn Citizen Advocacy
- Children and Youth with Disability Australia
- Council for Intellectual Disability NSW
- Disability Advocacy Network Australia
- Disabled People’s Organisations Australia
- First Peoples Disability Network of Australia
- Guide Dogs Australia
- Guide Dogs Victoria
- Independent Advocacy Townsville
- Macular Disease Foundation Australia
- Melbourne East Disability Advocacy
- National Ethnic Disability Alliance
- National Social Security Rights Network
- NSW Council of Social Service
- Physical Disability Council of NSW
- People with Disability Australia
- People with Disability Western Australia
- Queensland Advocacy Inc.
- Retina Australia
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
- The Royal Society for the Blind
- Vision Australia
- Vision 2020 Australia
- Women with Disabilities Australia.