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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, delivered the following statement to the Federal Parliament.

“Last week both Autism Tasmania and Disability Voices Tasmania announced that they’ve been forced to close their doors due to a lack of funding, despite them providing vital services for people living with disability in the State. No wonder my community is rightly concerned.

“For instance, I’ve been contacted by constituents who are alarmed and aghast by the announced closures, concerned by the impact that this will have on their lives, as well as the lives of their loved ones. So much for National Cabinet signing an intergovernmental agreement, just last December, acknowledging that they must work better together to address growing pressures on the health system and the NDIS.

“Some 26 per cent of Tasmanians live with disability, compared to 18 per cent nationally. But because of these funding decisions, as well as the failure of state and federal planning and cooperation, Tasmanians are being left without the critical advocacy and support they so desperately need.

“We’ve heard time and again from this government that they don’t want the NDIS to be the only lifeboat in the ocean for people with disability.  But the shocking reality is that many Tasmanians and their families feel like they’re being forced to walk the plank right now, and that’s simply not good enough. Governments, frankly, need to fix it.”