Cessation of key services another blow for communities in need

TasCOSS calls on the state and federal governments to act urgently to ensure key services continue for the 26% of Tasmanians with disability.

At a time when Tasmanians are presenting to community services in growing numbers, TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, said Autism Tasmania and Disability Voices Tasmania are vital services for people with disability.

“The work they do improves the lives of people with disability, as well as benefiting the broader community through awareness raising and education, which are essential to creating a more inclusive society,” said Ms Picone.

“Many Tasmanians will be rightfully concerned today at news that these organisations have been left with no choice but to close their doors due a lack of funding.

“The importance of adequately funded services for people with disability was recognised in December last year when the state, territory and federal governments signed an intergovernmental agreement to ensure people with disability receive the supports they need, regardless of whether they are eligible for the NDIS, with the costs of providing ‘foundational supports’ shared 50-50 between the Commonwealth and states and territories.

“We call on the Tasmanian Government to closely examine the consequences of cuts to services, and engage in robust conversation with the organisations affected around solutions to ensure Tasmanians do not miss out on essential support.

“These organisations form part of the broader community services industry, which provides a vast array of supports and services to Tasmanians across their life span. 

“The essential work of this industry ensures more Tasmanians, including Tasmanians with disability, stay well, are engaged in education, training and employment, and feel supported and connected in their communities.

“All levels of government must do better at recognising the contribution of community services through funding that is viable and secure.”