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MCS Rally and National Disability Strategy
Wednesday 5 November 2008
Peter Evans (pictured), Convenor of the SA Task Force on MCS, reports on the recent MCS Public Rally and the invitation for submissions to the National Disability Strategy:
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities invites people with MCS to contribute to the development of a National Disability Strategy
The recent rally in Adelaide calling for a national multiple chemical sensitivity disability access strategy has already achieved some results. National disability services within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs are currently developing a National Disability Strategy and people with MCS have been invited to contribute their experience with disability access as part of a national consultation process.
There are numerous stories from people with MCS about the problems they experience when trying to access goods and services such as doctors, pharmacies, supermarkets and even public streets. Common chemicals such as perfumes, paints, cleaning products, and pesticides not only stop people with MCS from getting the services they need but they can also make them very sick. These kinds of stories need to be told so that the needs of people disabled with MCS can be included in the National Disability Strategy.
Written submissions can be sent to NDS@nationalmailing.com.au before 1 December 2008. There will also be a series of public meetings associated with the consultation with Adelaide’s meeting being held on 24 November. You will need to register to attend the meeting by phoning 1800 077 765.
This is a rare opportunity for people with MCS to have their voices heard and hopefully improve their access to services and public spaces. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.
A media release regarding the National Disability Strategy is reproduced here:
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, Bill Shorten, today launched a discussion paper for the National Disability Strategy.
“To ensure the National Disability Strategy is practical and effective, the Australian Government, in consultation with State and Territory Governments, has developed a discussion paper to generate public comment,” Ms Macklin said.
“A series of public consultations will be held across the nation, starting in Darwin on the 27 October and finishing in Canberra on the 26 November. This will ensure that Australians across the nation have an opportunity to provide input and feedback.
“The Rudd Government recognises that many people with disability face barriers in society, and are struggling with cost of living pressures during this time of global financial uncertainty.”
For the first time, as part of the Economic Security Strategy, lump sum payments are being extended to include more than 700,000 Disability Support Pensioners. Carers will also benefit from the payments.
The lump sum payment of $1,400 to single pensioners and $2,100 to pensioner couples will be paid from the 8 December 2008.
These lump-sum payments are a down payment on long term reform, which will be delivered in the 2009-10 Budget context.
Mr Shorten said the National Disability Strategy was an election commitment of the Rudd Government to address the barriers faced by people with disability and promote social inclusion.
“It will be an important mechanism in ensuring the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are integrated into policies and programs affecting people with disability, their families and carers,” Mr Shorten said.
“We would like to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, the organisations which represent them, employers, trade unions, researchers, and anyone with an interest in creating a better Australia for people with disability.”
The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations will also be conducting consultations in regional and remote areas, and will be seeking input from communities of interest such as culturally and linguistically diverse groups, women with disabilities and Indigenous people.
You will need to register to attend consultations in capital cities and regional areas by calling 1800 077 765.
Written submission can emailed to NDS@nationalmailing.com.au or posted to National Disability Strategy, PO Box 7442, Canberra Business Centre, ACT, 2610.
Submissions must be received by 5pm AEST Monday 1 December 2008.
Alternative formats such as Easy English version of the National Disability Strategy discussion paper are available at www.fahcsia.gov.au/disability/nds. Please call 1800 077 765 or 1800 555 677 (TTY) for alternative versions.
National dates and locations of consultations:
State break down of DSP recipients receiving the Government’s down payment on reform:
Date: 17 October 2008
Contact: Jessica Walker 0430 166 633