Liberals lack commitment to people with disability - in Tasmania and nationally Tue 22 May 2012 Cassy O'Connor Minister for Human Services The Liberal Party has again shown its lack of commitment to improving the lives of Tasmanians living with disability, their families and carers, with disability services failing to even rate a mention in Will Hodgman's alternative budget speech, the Minister for Human Services Cassy O'Connor said today. "In last week's State Budget, we delivered an additional $3 million in funding to support the wage increase associated the Fair Work Australia decision, as part of the extra $12.6 million allocated for disability services," Ms O'Connor said. "By contrast, in between the slogans and the motherhood statements, Will Hodgman couldn't even take the time to mention disability services once. It's an unfortunate repeat of last year's Alternative Budget effort from the Liberals and is a slap in the face to the many thousands of Tasmanians living with disability, their families and carers." Ms O'Connor said the Government has shown its commitment to working with disability service providers to deliver services in the most effective and efficient way into the future. "I know that the waiting list for Individual Support Packages is far too long, and demand for these life-enhancing supports continues to outstrip supply. I believe the only sustainable way to address this unfairness is through a National Disability Insurance Scheme," she said. "This is why we are actively supporting the NDIS and working closely with the Federal Government, clients and the sector to position Tasmania to be one of the four launch sites for the scheme from June next year. "On behalf of Tasmanians living with disability, their families and carers, I call upon Ms Petrusma and Mr Hodgman to commit to match or exceed the funding outlined in the 2012-13 State Budget." Ms O'Connor also urged the Tasmanian Liberals to lobby their mainland counterparts to support the NDIS rather than undermine it. "Recent comments from both the Qld and NSW Liberal Premiers and by the Federal Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, have cast serious doubt over the Liberal Party's commitment to the NDIS. "The Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said at the National Press Club last week that while he supports an NDIS in principle, he can't promise to fund it. "This provision of quality disability services to people in need is so important, yet it has been ignored in the Liberals Alternative Budget and is being undermined by conservative State Governments across Bass Strait. "People living with disabilities, their families and carers deserve better," Ms O'Connor said.