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Political & civils rights advocate, animal lover & state co-ordinator for the Australian Federation Party

Disability Priorities Fail at every turn.

“Disability services and funding seems some what off the agenda and rightly so”, says Mark Aldridge Independent Candidate for the upper house, the Labor party have yet to make the sector any promises at all, and going by their past performance, they seem oblivious to the disaster the system has become.

The Australian Productivity Commission January 2010 report showed that SA spends $30 million dollars per annum less than the national per capita average (and $115 million less per annum on a per client basis).

Mark and Helen both believe that whoever is in government after March 20, they will need to commit to meeting at least the national per capita funding average, if not show the other states how to lead the way.

Over the next four years, all parties should commit to an increase in funding to a variety of the sectors supporting those with disabilities, from the urgent need to clear critical equipment waiting lists, to respite care and rehabilitative services, estimated to be at least 120 million dollars over the next 4 years.

Even if these funding levels were reached, SA will still be well below the National average. Labors early election promises received by agencies in or around December 2009 had already been committed for in previous budgets and the Liberals 10 million over 4 years is nothing more than a token effort.

“It seems both of the major parties have their sights set on vote buying through freeways and stadiums, rather than equity of services for our most vulnerable in society”, says Mark I have to assume Mike Rann will try and pull the rabbit out of the hat in the next few days, but even then I doubt it will go far enough to dent the damage done over the past decade due to lack of genuine fair and compassionate policy directives.

Mike will have it easy if the liberals promises are all he has to improve upon, if only Mike or Isobel had attended the Awareness rally I held on the 28 February, the hundreds of attendees brought up many issues of concern, which clearly would have shown them the whole disability sector was in despair, says Mark

As Independents, if elected we will not be in a position to write policy, how ever we can and will apply pressure for improved funding and services, and we will remind them of any promises made, Mark concluded.

Mark and Helen Aldridge Independent candidates for the Legislative Council

“ CHANGE IS NECESSARY” 08 82847482 / 0403379500

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