MEDIA RELEASE: Disability services cut from today

Date posted: 
27 February 2015

Vital help for people with disability and carers will be drastically cut from today due to an Abbott Government decision to defund specialist disability information services.

Nican's frontline services are essential so we will continue to provide basic services and access to our online database with a skeleton team of staff and volunteers.  From Monday we are only able to provide information on our toll-free 1800 806 769 line on the Qantas Carer Concession Card.  We will also attempt to continue to provide assistance to travellers with disability needing emergency help only. 

Without additional support the whole service will be closing at the end of the month after 26 years since being opened by the late Hazel Hawke in 1988.

The service cuts follows a decision by the Federal Government to slash disability information in the last Budget.   It's baffling the Australian Government is defunding information services so close to the rollout of information, linkages and capacity building services (formerly tier 2) under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Federal Government has also declined to provide bridging funding for these services despite providing funding for other frontline services as well as organisations which don’t provide direct support. Nican only seeks a small amount of bridging funding until the NDIS can start providing information services.

Nican also supports people who are not in trial sites or eligible for direct care.  Disability does not stop at 65 nor does it not exist because it was acquired in a motor vehicle accident.

We also provide the Nican carer concession card which offers a 50% airtravel discount to carers for people with disability who must travel with them to help with movement, eating and using the bathroom. Concession card holders include veterans, legatees and people requiring emergency medical transport.

Without further support Nican will close entirely at the end of March and be unable to provide emergency assistance or further carer concession cards.  Nican has this week written to all Federal MP’s and Senators urging that the funding be provided with transition support in the lead up to the NDIS.  You can find user case studies at http://nican.com.au/node/15358

Nican is available via www.nican.com.au or 1800 806 769.   Media contact: Craig Wallace, 0451 199 750