Liberal Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres, together with Shadow Minister for COAG Senator Marise Payne, has gathered together stakeholders in Penrith’s disability sector to discuss future directions under a NSW Liberal and Nationals government.
Fronting up to hear stories from the coalface, from people living and working day to day with disabilities were Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Andrew Constance, and the Federal Shadow Minister, Mitch Fifield.
”There are more than 44,000 people in the Nepean area living with a disability, and more than 24,000 unpaid carers,” Mr Ayres said.
”It was a privilege to be able to give some of these people the chance to speak to their Shadow Ministers one to one, and to question them about NSW Liberal and National policies.”
”We don’t agree with the Keneally Labor Government’s ‘one size fits all’ approach. Each one of those 44,000 people living with a disability, each one of those 24,000 carers, is an individual with their own unique circumstances and story. That is why the NSW Liberals and Nationals launched a discussion paper on personalizing disability services.
”A key policy platform is individual rather than institutional funding, giving individuals control over their personal circumstances.”
Shadow Minister for Disabilities Andrew Constance said that alongside some of his parliamentary colleagues, he has had extensive consultations with people with disabilities and their families regarding future needs.
”Our focus over the coming months will be ensuring that the next five years of Stronger Together is fully funded,” Mr Constance said.
”There is overwhelming support in the community for a person centred approach to service provision. Our policies will be focused on a personalized approach to peoples’ lives.”
Federal Shadow Minister for Disabibilites, Mitch Fifield, thanked the people of Penrith for their dedication.
”The forum was a great opportunity to hear about the challenges facing carers and people with disability in Penrith. The Coalition is listening and is committed to better outcomes for Australian with disability and their families. The system is broken It needs to be fixed,” Senator Fifield said.
In closing the forum, Stuart Ayres pointed out the enormous positive contribution to the community made by people with disabilities and their carers.
”It’s estimated that carers put in $10 billion worth of free care every year,” Mr Ayres said.
”And beyond the financial contributions there is the difference that each and every one of you makes every day to Penrith and the Lower Mountains. I’d like to put on the record, on behalf of the whole community, my thanks for that, for your own unique contribution.”