News, media releases

Petrusma’s mismanagement jeopardises disability organisations’ futures

  • Disability organisations facing uncertain future
  • No assurances or even meetings with Minister Petrusma
  • Serious questions for Minister Petrusma to answer

Disability Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma is not ready for the transition to the NDIS.

Despite holding the Disabilities portfolio for five years, Ms Petrusma’s disinterest and mismanagement has left Tasmania’s disability organisations ill-prepared.

Currently 10,600 Tasmanians are eligible for the NDIS.  Approximately 90,000 aren’t eligible.

Shadow Minister for Disability Jo Siejka said Minister Petrusma must support and service the needs of the Tasmanians living with a disability.

Ms Petrusma has been told this fact by her own Federal Liberal colleagues.

The funding for 18 organisations finishes up at the end of this financial year.

“These disability service organisations were told by Minister Petrusma to apply for ILC grants late last year.

“However, this process was halted – and organisations, their employers and thousands of people living with a disability are now left without certainty for their future.

“The Minister has not provided any assurance that approximately 18 organisations will all be provided ILC grants. She hasn’t even met with some of them.

“There is no guarantee that these organisations would receive sufficient or any funds if they are successful.

“Ninety-thousand Tasmanians aren’t eligible for the NDIS and their only option for support is to rely on services funded by the Tasmanian Government.

“Speak Out, an advocacy organisation, will lose 48 per cent of funding but still need to service 90,000 people living with a disability and the organisations that support them.

“People living with a disability need the support of advocacy services to assist with problems they face in many areas including health services, education, employment, housing and discrimination.”

Ms Siejka said there were serious questions for Ms Petrusma to answer:

  • What, if anything, has the Minister done to advocate to the NDIS for these organisations?
  • Why has she not acted on the advice from the Federal Government to step in and help these organisations?
  • Will the organisations be offered interim funding? Will this funding be enough for services to continue their work in full?
  • How will the needs of the 90,000 Tasmanians living with a disability, who are not eligible for the NDIS, be met?
  • Will the Minister commit to funding advocacy services for Tasmanians living with a disability

Jo Siejka MLC
Shadow Minister for Disabilities