Raising the Barr: Our most vulnerable hurt by privatisation

Because the Government has ejected itself from providing disability services, many people are unable to access the supports they need, says MP Clayton Barr.

Because the Government has ejected itself from providing disability services, many people are unable to access the supports they need, says MP Clayton Barr.

Last week some damning revelations emerged during a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the implementation of the NDIS in NSW.

Because the Government made the decision to eject itself from the business of providing disability services there has been serious market failures which has left many people living with a disability unable to access the supports they need.

When the Government decided to hand over the responsibility of caring for people living with a disability to non-government organisations (NGOs), safety-net services were taken away.

Now, it is important to realise that not all of these NGOs are bad but some of the shonky ones, who are driven by profit, simply leave NDIS participants without any support if they are unable to make a profit or break-even.

This has resulted in tragic outcomes for NDIS participants and their families. Without these safety-nets, shonky private operators can decide to withdraw their support, which forces NDIS participants to try and find their own accommodation. Tragically, it was revealed that many are turning to hospitals and prisons to live.

Imagine leaving a 23 year old to live in a nursing home for the rest of their life. This seems to be the result when a Government washes its hands of responsibility for people living with a disability.

When will the Government realise their privatisation agenda is having tragic outcomes?

Our generous community

I continue to be amazed by the generosity of our local community.

As the plight of farmers affected by drought became apparent there was a call for donations of food, toiletries and cleaning items to help them get back on their feet.

My office was set-up as a collection point for donations. When the call went out for donations, the response from our community was overwhelming. Over the last two months so many household items, clothes and other necessities have been dropped into my office.

These have now been delivered to farmers out west. The generosity of so many people has been incredible. Thank you!

It’s not the end, HSC starts

Next week, our local Year 12 students will start their Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams. This can be an incredibly stressful time for students (and for mums and dads) and it is important that we offer the emotional support and encouragement these young people will need throughout the exam period. We all know that it is an anxious and stressful time for adolescents.

Parents and friends can do simple things to take the pressure off students as they study and sit exams. Taking them for a run, watching a movie and making sure they are eating right will do wonders for their mental health. They may be small things but they will have long-term positive effects. Remember, the HSC is not the be-all and end-all.

It is just a part of the process that is life. It will not make or break your potential for the future. I wish each and every student all the best for the HSC, but more importantly I wish you all prosperity and good health for life beyond the HSC.

Get in touch

For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can, please contact my office.

Call 4991 1466, email cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325.

You can also follow me at www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp, Twitter @claytonbarrmp or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au