Disability law reform push welcomed by Mid West advocates as State Government seeks public input

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Disability Services Minister Don Punch
Camera IconDisability Services Minister Don Punch Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Disability groups in the Mid West have welcomed an announcement from the State Government that it is seeking input from the community on reforming WA’s disability laws.

On March 10 Disability Services Minister Don Punch announced the Government was seeking consultation on reforming the State’s thirty-year old Disability Services Act.

Mr Punch said key topics for discussion would include principles. safeguards, service provision, access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Michael Tait, CEO for Rocky Bay, a disability care provider with a hub in Geraldton, said he would like to see better co-ordination between the various government agencies involved in disability.

“The gaps caused by a national NDIS have largely been between State based agencies with limited oversight at a holistic level from State Government — that is, those jurisdictions which still very much touch the lives of our customers, including education, aged care, health, transport, housing and so on,” he said.

Zane D’Mello, executive officer for Geraldton-based charity ATLAS, said it was too early to have an opinion on potential changes, but said there were some limitations in the current laws surrounding the ability for charities to do certain types of work outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which he said he would like to see addressed.

Mr Punch said he looked forward to hearing from West Australian’s with disabilities.

“The voice of lived experience is vital in this process, and I strongly encourage people from diverse backgrounds, locations and experiences to provide their feedback,” he said.

Consultation is open until June 10.

For more information, or to submit feedback, go to https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-communities/have-your-say-reforming-western-australias-disability-legislation or the Reform Project Team at contact disabilitylegislationteam@communities.wa.gov.au or 0421 978 786

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