Liberal Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres today welcomed the announcement by Shadow Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance of funding for a new advocate position to the Penrith Disabilities Resource Centre.
”This is a big win for the disability sector in Penrith and the Lower Mountains, and is a clear sign that in his many visits to Penrith Andrew Constance has been listening to the everyday people whose lives are impacted by living with a disability,” Mr Ayres said.
The Penrith Disabilities Resource Centre (PDRC) had its beginnings in 1988, in a small office behind the Emu Plains library. It has moved from those small beginnings to a position now when in recent years over 6000 enquiries a year are received by their office.
Denise Roberts, the coordinator of the PDRC, also welcomed the commitment.
”This is like the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ms Roberts said.
”The number of enquiries we receive annually at the PDRC increased from 1000 in 1999 to over 6000. We want to make sure that people living with a disability know they are not alone, and this extra advocate position will go a long way towards that goal. On behalf of those with a disability in our area: Many, many thanks.”
Shadow Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance said that he had been impressed by the work that the PDRC did for the region.
”I’ve worked and met with representatives of the PDRC on many occasions, and have always been impressed by their dedication to people in the Penrith region who live every day with disabilities. Stuart invited me to Penrith to listen to people face to face at a disabilities forum last year, and it’s a privilege to be able to deliver an effective improvement to local services,” Mr Constance said.
”The NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to $2 billion of growth funding for disability services under the Stronger Together plan.
”We will deliver all the places identified in the plan, and we will offer the choice of individualised funding packages as part of our approach. This gives each person the ability to choose which services they access, and when they access them.”
Stuart Ayres MP said that this was an example of the approach that Penrith needed to achieve real change.
”It’s affordable, it’s realistic, it can be achieved. And it’s going to make a significant difference to the lives of those people who need to access the service,” Mr Ayres said.
”It’s real and immediate change that can be believed. This is the way to turn this State around and to make NSW number one again.”