Parties ranked for disability policies

Disability advocates have ranked major parties and independents on their election commitments, with the Greens and independent MP Andrew Wilkie leading the pack.

Peak rights and advocacy organisation People with Disability Australia scored them on their election pledges, after sending its election platform a month ago and asking participants to clarify policy positions across seven issues affecting Australians living with disability.

The Liberal-National coalition, Labor, the Greens, One Nation, Centre Alliance and independent candidates Andrew Wilkie and Zali Steggall responded.

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The responses have been used to develop a survey report and scorecard intended to be an easy reference guide for voters.

PWDA president Samantha Connor says the Greens and independent Andrew Wilkie “get the most thumbs up from us” as they have “demonstrated clear and worthwhile support of pretty much all the issues”.

“Their positions in relation to increasing financial security for people with disability and extending the NDIS to people over 65 years of age are of key interest,” she said.

Labor and independent MP for Mayo Rebekah Sharkie come in second.

“Labor’s plan for a better future for the NDIS is a comprehensive plan that responds well to what people with disability and our families have been calling for,” Ms Connor said.

“Ms Sharkie is giving full or partial commitments across most areas, including increasing the Disability Support Pension to levels people with disability can live on,” she added.

The coalition and independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall followed.

The coalition confirmed it will continue to deliver on its existing commitments in relation to disability.

Ms Steggall backed better responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disability and an end to age discrimination on the NDIS.

PWDA will continue to advocate on a range of issues affecting people with disability in the lead-up to the election on May 21.

The author has written this in a personal capacity.

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