Labor’s Commitment to People with a Disability

Labor is committed to supporting Tasmanians with a disability.

Labor fully supports the NDIS and the flexibility it provides to people living with disability to tailor support to their individual needs.

Labor also recognises there are areas that government still needs to provide a role and ensure that Tasmanians with a disability are able to participate fully in their communities.

Supporting Australian Disability Enterprises

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE’s) operating across Tasmania, provide a source of valuable and meaningful employment opportunities for people with a disability – in a wide range of areas such as packaging, assembly, production, recycling, screen printing, plant nursery, garden maintenance, landscaping, cleaning services, laundry services and food services.

A Tasmanian Labor Government will work towards buying more than $22 million of its supplies and consumables budget from Tasmanian ADE’s within five (5) years.

Under existing arrangements, agencies already have the option of streamlining their procurement systems to purchase directly from approved ADE’s without needing to undertake a full quotation or tender process.  ADE’s must of course comply with applicable disability standards and work practices.

Australian Disability Enterprises offer similar working conditions as other employers and an opportunity for people with a disability to contribute to their local community.

By establishing a minimum spend for Tasmanian Government agencies and ensuring tenders are appropriately scoped, ADE’s will be sent a strong message that a Labor Government will support the long term growth of the sector and assist in the short term challenges currently being faced.

Ensuring best practice with through the Community Services Commissioner

With increasing services being delivered through the community sector, including disability, housing and child protection services, it is critical that the rights of people are protected.

In order to protect the most vulnerable in our community, Labor will establish an independent Community Services Commissioner with the powers to:

  • handle individual complaints and review the situation of an individual, or group of people.
  • monitor and review the delivery of community services and make recommendations to improve the delivery of services.
  • inquire into matters affecting services and people eligible to receive community services.
  • promote access to advocacy support and ensure adequate participation in decision-making for consumers.

Labor envisages that the Community Services Commissioner will also have the powers to investigate matters which relate to education and disability service provision.

Cost: $3.6 million

Supporting students with Disability

It is important that we provide additional support to students who need it in order to provide equitable learning to all students.

Labor is committed to ensuring that students with disability are not disadvantaged and have a positive engaging learning experience.

Implementing the recommendations of the Disability Taskforce

Labor is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Disability Taskforce into education, however it is important that these recommendations are implemented properly with the guidance of experts.

That is why Labor will review the terms of reference for the Disability Taskforce to empower them to not just review policy changes in line with the report but require them to drive the educational priorities for students with a disability and produce an implementation work plan.

Ensuring funding is needs based

The current IQ based funding system for students with a disability is inadequate.

There is currently a gap in the funding needed to support students with a disability and schools are currently in the unacceptable position of having to choose between supporting their students with disability and delivering other school programs.

Labor also recognises that there are students who aren’t picked up by the current funding model and it is imperative that we understand the extent of the gap between how students are currently funded and where we need to be to make a difference in their learning journey.

That is why Labor will require a report on the transition to a needs based model, to be delivered to Parliament within our first year in government.

We want to understand if students who are not currently recognised as having a disability, but who likely need additional support, are missing out. The report will be required to recommend whether trauma be included in needs based disability funding model or whether standalone funding is more appropriate.

Cost: $100,000

Early Childhood Intervention Service

Tasmania’s Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) provides a critical service for families and children with disability when they are starting their learning journey.

Without ECIS many parents would be left to navigate services and their child starting school alone.

Labor knows that the NDIS funded service does not provide the same wrap around service that walks side by side with parents on what can be a confusing and difficult journey.

That is why Labor will continue to fund ECIS from 2020 to maintain this essential service to families of children with disability.

Labor will continue to work with the NDIS on the non-education component of ECIS to ensure the best outcomes for students and families are delivered.

Cost: $8.8 million – funded through a combination of new money and Labor’s Early Years Guarantee

Tasmania’s Education Partnership

Labor is committed to delivering a fairer education system which is why we need to ensure that the views of people with disability are taken into consideration when formulating policy that will impact on them.

Labor will ensure that in there is a disability representative on the Tasmanian Education Partnership, joining education peak bodies, parent groups and representatives of industry and workforce groups, along with representatives of each political party and an independent member of the Upper House.

Labor’s commitment to provide accessible accommodation

Labor believes that every Tasmanian should have access to safe and secure housing.

Tasmania is on the brink of a housing crisis – from affordable housing, private rental, community housing and emergency shelter accommodation.

Labor recognises that addressing the housing crisis requires more than just bricks and mortar. That is why we are committed to providing accommodation options that support Tasmanians who are in need of housing.

Multi-Residential Developments

Labor will build three new multi-residential developments around the state, based on the same principles as Hopkins Street in Moonah. The Hopkins Street complex provides 30 units for Tasmanians in need, including six two-bedroom units with wheelchair access. It embraces many environmental sustainability principles – with each unit achieving a 7 or 8 star energy rating. The cost of living for tenants is reduced through features such as:

Solar hot water systems.

Energy-efficient heating, cooling and lighting.

Substantial insulation. The developments will be designed to cater for a mix of residents including 18-25 year olds at risk of homelessness, over 55’s, people living with a disability and people escaping family violence.

Cost: $24 million

Mental health accommodation in communities

Labor understands that in addition to acute beds, there is a need for more mental health services and accommodation in communities. Labor will commit to reviewing current levels of acute, transitional and long term accommodation and associated services in order to provide best practice mental health treatment and rehabilitation.

Labor will build 12 individual homes statewide to assist Tasmanians with mental ill health into recovery. Labor wants to achieve the best outcomes to support the mental wellbeing of Tasmanians which is why we will partner and consult with the community housing sector and Mental Health Council of Tasmania and service providers to deliver a therapeutic approach to support Tasmanians with mental ill health to live independently. This pilot program is designed to identify low to moderate at risk clients and support them into housing to prevent avoidable backlogs in transitional mental health residential facilities.

Cost: $2.5m