Five more given the choice to stay
Almost four years after the Barnett Government announced their intention to privatise 60% of Supported Accommodation services, our campaign to slow down and stop the privatisations has been successful.
It’s been a heartbreaking and hard fought campaign. We have thrown everything at it. We have signed petitions, lobbied MP’s, written an extensive report into decision-making for people with disabilities, interviewed members and families, told your stories, lodged Freedom of Information applications, protested, emailed the Director General, the Premier, the Minister and the Shadow Minister and we have built strong and lasting relationships with families.
We have held almost 40 meetings with families and we have supported them in their efforts, helped them with Freedom of Information applications, media queries, protesting, writing submissions to Parliament and Inquiries into privatisation, making complaints in the Equal Opportunity Commission which we followed through to the State Administrative Tribunal and we have lent our shoulders while they cried and our ears when they were angry, all to help them support you and your jobs. It’s been a gargantuan effort.
Sadly, it all came at a cost. Relationships with people you care about and loved to work with were broken, Social Trainers were kept at arm’s length when you should have been central to the transition and decision making processes. Families have been bullied and cajoled into making decisions that they weren’t comfortable with and have been threatened with the removal of their guardianship. You and families, and the people with disabilities that should have been at the heart of the Government’s decision making were treated appallingly.
In the end we did prevail. The privatisation project was supposed to be complete in October 2014. Then it was supposed to be complete in October 2015. Now we know, it will never be complete and that’s down to you and the effort you made with us.
Five additional locations have been given the choice to stay with the Disability Services Commission. They are: Stalker Road, Casserley, Market Street, Cooper and Albany Highway.
A special mention must go to the staff and families at Stalker Road. Despite being listed in Transition Group 4, they stayed the path together to ensure that Stalker Road remains in with the Disability Services Commission.
Our next EDC will be a special meeting with CARD families to talk through our next steps. Families are keen to seek an Inquiry into the conduct of the privatisation project and they have a lot of questions about NDIS and WANDIS that they want to resolve together.
If you have a story or a concern that wasn’t resolved at the time of the privatisation project, please let your delegates know so they can pass this information back to the EDC and families.